Aloha! Before I get to my main topic for the day, I need to announce a #BYOChobani winner!
I asked my mom to randomly choose a number between 1 and 481 because— can you believe this— random number generator isn’t working right now. MamaJ said comment #371 is the winner! Who is…
OK, now back to what’s been on my mind.
I’ve been blogging for three years. I prize the connection I have with readers and other bloggers. Most of what happens in my blogosphere is just peachy. But then, every three months, a small uprising of negativity or scrutiny occurs. I swear, it’s like clockwork. At once, the dissent and criticism pops up.
My heart sinks* a little when I first read a comment that criticizes my appearance, diet, exercise, writing, life. (*What does this feel like? You can hear your heartbeat, you feel slightly nauseated, your face flushes.) Shortly after, though, something along the lines of pissed-offness takes over. The third stage of this “after the comments strike” reaction is nonchalance. Right there, at the third stage, a little lesson pops up and says, “Hey! Remember me?” Ohhhh, that’s right. That lesson is that in one day, a person can tell you she loves your writing and on the very same day, another person can tell you your writing is garbage. That’s how it is. That’s how it always will be.
I face this at work constantly, but I’ve learned not to take it personally. Writing is hit or miss all the time. Expectations and ideas change, which is part of the beauty of working with a creative team. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s also part of the frustration. It’s how you deal with this that matters.
Because I know that a post, nay, a sentence can elicit several different responses, I’ve become a bit paranoid with my writing on the blog. In the workplace, an edit can be cushioned, the blow can be softened or you see how in the greater context of a project why that edit makes sense. On a personal (but not so personal) blog, though, it can be damn difficult to field comments, critiques and downright rudeness. I learn from some, I shake my head at others and I ignore a few. What’s done me no good is watering down my writing as a preventative measure.
Let me give you an example of how I can see responses before I’ve completed writing a post, which has led me to write differently than my instinct tells me. (Which happens more often than I’d like to admit.)
I’ll post a picture.
And here are the responses I can see this eliciting:
A. That looks delicious! I love pasta. I should make it more often!
B. What brand of pasta do you buy? Did you make the sauce yourself or is that from a jar?
C. Ugh you only show pictures of your dinner when you eat pasta. What are you trying to prove?
D. You do such close-up shots of your food that that has to be a tiny portion. Is that only one meatball I see on there? I hope you get help, girl. You’re slipping back into an ED.
E. I still don’t understand how or why or how you’re eating meat again.
F. Yea, you’re eating meat but you’re only eating the healthy sh!t. It’s not like you’d eat bacon.
G. Haha, like you ever clean your plate! Whatever.
H. Learn how to make something else!
I. You are annoying.
I can’t make this up. I’ve received every single one of these types of comments before. Sometimes all on the same post. (For those of you who want proof, I’m not searching.) What’s interesting about humans, blogging and commenting is that we all have opinions and we are steadfast within them. That’s great. I just have to stick what I know to be true when it comes to myself.
Drowning out the extraneous noise is difficult when it happens on something you love so much. It’s not simply noise at that point. I invite honest, real discussions in the comment section as long as they’re respectful. I learn from some of these discussions and try to take some criticism into consideration when I blog.
Through the storm of varying opinions, though, I have to stay true to me. And when it comes to the nasty stuff, I have to let go and move forward. I know me better than any commenter. Regarding the food diary post that I wrote last week: it was not deleted, just moved to March 2. I did so because I didn’t want to deal with it at the moment, and I had the awesome Chobani contest running, from which I didn’t want to detract attention. And then after the weekend, I thought about why I moved my post and if it really mattered anymore.
I’m not writing this post to stop the out-there comments—it wouldn’t be as interesting without them. I’m just writing this to gain a peace of mind. I’m writing in hopes that someone out there is nodding vigorously along. (That someone is likely to be a blogger.) I’m also writing about this because it’s strange not to when it happens on this very medium. Everyone has an opinion; I just need to stick to what I know to be true about myself and my beliefs when I read your opinions.
This is kind of a downer post, but it needed to happen. I genuinely feel better. It’s been weighing on me! I’m sure I’ll be back to blogging about snacks and ridiculousness tomorrow. (I have two excellent sweet snacks to share.) Thanks for reading!
Ciao for now,