Control: Bad Reviews

Daniel Trump
2 min readJul 23, 2022


I, Dalton Lewis, don’t know why I do it.

Why do I keep writing novels? I’ve been writing for twenty-five fucking years and I’m not a millionaire yet. I shouldn’t keep working at it. I should quit and open a bakery, bake people diet cookies. People like diet cookies.

I don’t understand.

I’ve written around twenty books without making a profit. That’s terrible. Someone should pay me. Someone should throw me cash.

No one seems to care. It’s harsh — I’m sorry to those of you who read my work— but it’s true.

I got another one-star review.

I immediately crashed. I had been feeling great — above the moon — but I immediately felt depressed.

I had felt so great.

I had 2,000 downloads of my most recent book — I was delighted with 2000 free downloads. I went out to breakfast with my dad. I had weighed myself and was under 286 pounds — I had lost twenty-four pounds. I had a five-star rating for my book. I had spent countless hours writing a spaceship battles book which was a recreation of the World War II battles at Guadalcanal. I created interesting and unique characters that had arcs and dramatic tension between each other.

And I got one star.

I work so hard and get one star. I don’t know what I do wrong — so colossally wrong that people think that my writing is awful, just awful. Not two stars or three stars or something — no, I regularly get one star ratings. I’m forty-four — I shouldn’t be a beginner at anything, as Red Letter Media likes to say.

Why do I persist? I should quit. It should be bakery time.

And yet I persist in writing about what’s wrong with America and its unpopular men.

I continue to write, to push boundaries, to try to tell the truth. It’s hard — to show that involuntary celibates have a perspective, that the unhappy men in life are hurting and are lashing out and need to be listened to and understood. I need to get at the reality beneath the veneer that is respectable society, to show what is wrong with America today, to always show people’s flaws, to show a society which doesn’t care about its people, because that is always the novel — what is wrong with America today. That is always the point. That is always the irony. Something is wrong with America today.

So I persist. I continue to fight an upwards battle towards respectability. I wrote American Starfleet Independence about a group of wonderful soldiers fighting like crazy to take a small planet far from Earth to save lives and protect Earth from alien invasion. I’m proud of it. I worked hard on it. I want people to give it a chance. To the one-star person — I worked really hard on that book. I’m sorry you didn’t like it.

Thanks, and take care, friends.



Daniel Trump

Dalton Lewis's novel Adventures at Mars State University 2.0 is out now.