Recently I was on a blogger’s site where another blogger posted, in no uncertain terms, that he did not want this blogger to follow him. There was a lot of outrage in the following comments, but then I saw a comment that I thought was very appropriate. It went like this:
Wow, (blogger). Sorry (this person) came at you like that. You’re correct to say it’s counter-productive for anyone to attack their supporters. It’s not in their best interest. Both on my blog and on Twitter, I have people following me I have disagreements with politically, morally, and spiritually. But anyone willing to lend me an ear or extend me a hand of friendship will receive mutual respect. There are people I interact with I struggle to understand on a host of levels, but does that close me off from them? Heck no. Every once in a while, someone with an opposing or different viewpoint shares something with me that impacts me a great deal.
The blogger who was “attacked” responded by saying that he liked discussion and even a good argument but that he brushed off hostility. He chose instead to focus on improving his art with the hope that next time the reader’s response would be different.
In my last blog on “stars” I mentioned the sensitivity of some authors towards reviewers who give them ratings of less than five stars. We may disagree with our reviewers, but, before we criticize them, let’s remember that they are also our readers, our audience. We may not understand why they respond to our writing as they do, but let’s consider that their experience of our writing is a valid one, maybe even one that merits our careful attention.
Has it come to this? Why of course! And we always knew it would, one day.
Joking aside, I was reading Sally Stuart’s Guide to Publishing a few days ago and became motivated to make some changes. It happened because I recognized who I am as a writer and what I want to accomplish. In her book she outlines types of writers as those who:
are totally committed to writing and would have to write no matter what (even if never published)
work at a full-time job while writing (always their first love) is on the side
write because they believe it will provide wealth or fame
write a lot and get excited about several projects at once, but seldom finish anything
spend their life (or at least their writing life) writing one story or experience
are obsessed with a single idea that is written and rewritten
write, submit, and sell, year in and year out (p. 130)
I know writers in most of these categories. I asked myself which one best described me and realized in that moment what I wanted. The category you or I find ourselves in does not have to be our destiny.
So, I am making some decisions. As she suggests, I am making time to write. I am informing friends and family of when I will and will not be available. I am setting goals, breaking them down into manageable pieces and making use of my calendar and to-do list. I am identifying time wasters and setting boundaries around my quality working time.
Knowing who you are and exactly what it is you want can be extremely motivating. In the next few weeks this blog will reflect some of the changes I will be making. Happy writing!