Well, it’s been a whole week since my website launch, and it was a success! Thank you guys for checking it out, I hope you will enjoy the book club, I look forward to all of your insights, and reading suggestions, stay tuned for a James Bond movie review.
I’ve actually been busy reading awesome blogs, funny blogs, heart-warming blogs, informative blogs, and you guys rock! So my first task at hand is to figure out who else to bestow incredible blog nominations I’ve received recently, that will happen shortly, because to do so, requires time I’m currently short on. My kids are quite demanding today, and to top it off, I lost my voice …completely… mere squeaks and whispers for this girl today. Which means I can’t yell at my kids, and they’re taking full advantage of this… I’m seriously worried because, they’re only two and four, and manipulate a situation like it’s nobody’s business!!! Teenage years here I come 😉
Like I said, I’ve been busy reading your stories, your insights, and it is fascinating to read so many different blogs, and realize at the same time that we’re all just looking to share a part of ourselves with the world, to be heard, to leave our mark, in some cases even be better human beings, and make something longlasting. Our short story publication, Apocalypse Anthology just got our first bad review, epic bad review, it was my first, having never been published before, and I will admit it stung. I’m just thankful the person didn’t pick and choose one person in particular to bestow her wisdom, I would have been mortified had she decided to thoroughly explain why I sucked, or any other author for that matter. This got me to think … a lot! Why did her opinion matter so much to me? I don’t know her? I don’t know what her tastes are? I don’t even know if I would like this person in real life, so why should her opinion matter? Especially, after a month of great reviews. It shouldn’t matter that one person really really didn’t like what we wrote, so what really hurt, then?
This is what I came up with. Our writing, or any form of art, or hard work, feels like an extension of ourselves, doesn’t it? Like a part of us has just been exposed to the world, and if someone doesn’t like it, then they don’t like us? Their criticisms feel like an attack on our talent or lack thereof, it feels like their criticizing our intelligence, our total self … sound about right? The reality, however is that it is not us, my writing is not an extension of me, I am so much more than black ink on paper, they are my words, and I am proud of them, but it is not who I am. So who is she hurting?
MY EGO! It sort of came to me in a flash. After a month or so of getting awesome reviews, fantastic praise there was really no stopping me, and then BAM! All that confidence shot in one instant? It didn’t make sense to my brain, how can one bad review destroy all of it so fast? Then I realized that the EGO is like a balloon … and the more you give praise, the more you compliment it, the bigger you inflate it, but we all know what happens to a balloon with too much air in it … it’s fragile, and can pop at any moment. So why did the one bad review sting so much, because my ego became self-important, it took too much space, and like a pin prick it was easily deflated, because there was no sustenance to hold it together. Don’t get me wrong, compliments are important, initial successes too, you sort of need them to help you push forward, although I’m so friggin’ obstinate, to quit is not part of my vocabulary. Still, the flattery had taken too much control, and without it, there was nothing left. Don’t get me wrong, I loved, and still want to hear “job well done” I’m still human, but it dawned on me, that I needed to take a step back.
Was I writing just for praise? No! With or without praise I will still write, with or without praise I will still try, with or without praise I will still succeed, by my own standards but success nonetheless, because what matters is how I feel inside, about my own worth, and I know that my worth goes so far beyond my written word, my skill, and that I don’t need it to be special.
The fact that this woman didn’t like what I wrote belongs to her, it has nothing to do with who, or what I am. And, any person that reads her dreadful review and chooses not to read our collection of stories, belongs to them, and has nothing to do with her, and I finally got it with the pop of one balloon.
I believe everything happens for a reason, with all of you my newest and cherished blog friends that thought my little blog was actually worth following, I felt enormous pressure to satisfy you. I didn’t want to disappoint, and lose you because you thought I was boring, or annoying … and somehow this bad review showed me that I need to be myself even more now, and it’s okay if you don’t like it, I know it doesn’t mean you don’t like me. So thank you 1\5 star, thank for the life lesson!
So, back to life, back to reality as the song goes … Unfortunately, I was gunning for a funny review today, and it ended up being a full on retrospective, let’s figure out who we are type blog, so my bucket list situation will have to wait yet again. Can you stand it, you will have to wait another week to hear about my fabulous knitting abilities, and a “mahvelous” scarf which has been done for a while now, or my drinking habit that I’ve been happily maintaining for your entertainment. Oh well … I’ll go hum my tune in a nice bottle of Balvenie 12 years.