It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote something on these pages. No, the inspiration didn’t dry up – everyday I see things I can blog about. No, I didn’t chicken out about keeping a blog. Yes, I was pretty busy due to CNY. No, life hasn’t been that different from before. So why didn’t I write?
I looked back and saw that I stopped writing after receiving my very first not-so-agreeable comment from someone whom I don’t know. Karine Miller said:
Good day, Pussy footsteps- Don’t mind me saying so, but you do seem like the kind of person who is obsessive, conceited even. Perhaps you should focus on your real strengths, because you come across as someone pretending to be confident; but in fact insecure. And from your so-called diet plan with your girlfriends, I can imagine you really need it.
I was rather taken aback by the comment. Offended at first, confused, shocked. She’s talking about me?? It sounds so wrong. I was indignant.
The first thing I did – I thrashed the comment (any first time commentators required my approval before the comments will show up). Then I sent it to a few of my friends and my husband. I believe now that I was looking for someone to tell me she is wrong, that they don’t agree with her.
Then I saw it. She is not off the mark about one thing – I was seeking approval, a sign of insecurity. Being new to this blogging business, I harbor anxiety about many things. The biggest concern I have is whether the way I write helps or hinders what I am trying to achieve. I have a fear that my directness may distract people from the intended meaning of my words. Perhaps it is too aggressive, somewhat confrontational. Some may hear LECTURE.
I consciously try to avoid those pitfalls but I am also conscious of over censoring myself. So I just go with the flow and be true to myself. Put it out there and see what comes back. Friends and one stranger who left comments were all supportive so I kept going.
Until Karine’s comment. That is the one comment I have been waiting for. One that was always inevitable. Like waiting for the other shoe to drop with bated breath. And it did. This is what I needed to hear. She has a view and she held up a mirror for me; she heard what she heard. There is no right or wrong, good or bad view. This is her view.
I am no longer indignant. In fact, I am thankful she dropped me the note. I am responsible for her impressions of me, my writing. She has pointed me a path forward – an area of my writing that I can improve on.
This is not an excuse for my absence. My original frenetic pace of writing was never going to be sustainable. I have to be realistic and authentic about this to myself. There is no perfection, no state I need to achieve before I write. I will write when I can.