Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Write On

I think if you write in a public forum, you've had some version of this experience: You're at ... say, a coffee shop, enjoying a warm and cozy beverage. The music is something enjoyable. You have a book that is well crafted and engaging. Basically, you're doing your thing and you're happy about it.

The door chimes and some people come in. You hear your name and look up -- hey, it's two of your friends! Awesome! You're chatting and friend one mentions something you wrote in your blog and is cracking up about it. As you talk, you look at friend two, and realize a change has come over his face at the mention of your blog. His eyes slide away from you and he is suddenly enthralled by the cafe's artwork.

That's when you realize: He's read your blog.

And he thinks it sucks.

Your friends move on -- they go to get their coffee, and you resume your interlude with your book, sort of. The whole time, though, your brain is divided between your book and the idea that your friend thinks your blog is terrible. Half of your brain is wondering if that Mr Darcy is going to get his act together and win Lizzie's heart, and the other half is thinking "Well, it's true that my blog is not very literary. I could probably do a better job... I do start a lot of sentences with 'and' and I tend to be fairly chatty and I do ramble ... look, I'm rambling right now, and this is kind of how I write, so I can see how someone might think that my blog is a little sucky... oh my, DOES it suck? Maybe it DOES! And if my FRIEND thinks it sucks (and there's that AND again, Dammit!) then why is anyone reading it at ALL? Arrrrgggghhhhhhhh!"

Or maybe this hasn't happened to you.

It's definitely happened to me.

After the angst and the fretting and the fussing and about four more coffees, I had an epiphany. Here's what I realized:

It. Doesn't. Matter.

It doesn't.

It's nice when people like what I do -- and let's face it, we all want to be liked -- but that's not why I do it; I'm fairly certain that that's not why ANYONE writes. I write because I enjoy writing. If I wasn't publishing it in a blog setting, I'd still be writing, it's just that no one would be reading it.

The risk of putting it someplace where people CAN read it is that perhaps, some people won't like it or won't get it. That's a risk you run every time you leave your house, though isn't it? Sometimes people won't like you. Sometimes they won't get your jokes, won't think you're cute, won't think that you're smart. When you were a kid, your folks told you that you were fabulous -- it's true, you are -- but they probably didn't tell you that you would not be universally loved.

Here's the truth -- I firmly believe that if you want unconditional adoration and love, you should get a dog.

Otherwise, you need to deal with the fact that not everyone will recognize or appreciate your innate fabulosity, whether in person or through a platform where you express yourself. That's okay. What's not okay is if you STOP embracing your own love for what you do -- be it knock knock jokes, or karaoke, or painting, or blogging -- because you are so worried about whether or not people will love it and, by extension, you.

So if you think my blog sucks, I'm okay with that.

However, I am forced to ask -- why are you still reading it?

1 comment:

  1. I'm in the "love it" camp myself. Your posts make me laugh, cry, and everything in between. They are very moving, to say the least. Perhaps your friend doesn't want to be in touch with those feelings right now.

    This is great food for thought for me right now, because I'm struggling with my social anxiety, which always manifests in doubt about being myself and the consequences thereof. Thank you!