Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Si No Te Hubieras Ido

I've been getting a lot of negative feedback about blogging lately. Not about my blog in particular, but about the genre as a whole, about its uses and drawbacks. Basically: about how everyone in the world (except me, evidently) thinks that they are useless. My site meant something when I was adventuring, traveling--but now that I'm stationary, now that my goals are more quotidian--it is boring and meaningless.

One comment, when I mentioned I was feeling pressure to post on a certain day, "That's just a goal that you put on yourself." As opposed to what? Goals that come from external sources, from editors? Goals that come from other people are somehow more important than goals I set for myself?

Another comment was, "Why are you even bothering blogging after Lent? Don't you need to focus on your other writing projects?"

And another was, "I wouldn't call yourself a blogger. Everyone has a perception of bloggers as being whiny complainers who just talk about themselves."

I don't know how to deal with this feedback. Or I do. I deal with it by not writing. Which is exactly why posting is so important for me. Nor does anyone actually bother to read my defense of blogging post. Or read the things that I'm saying at all. It's just another example of people writing things off because they don't want to deal with them, because they don't understand them. It shouldn't change how I feel, but it does.


kolinko said...

I'm here and I read your writings. I think you are amazing and brave.

Los Skarks said...

I love reading your blog, it's one of the few I keep in my bookmarks so I don't forget to check it.

Los Skarks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Red Sonia said...

Me too. I check it every time I go online. I totally agree with you about the struggle of external goals vs internal ones. I also think their is great power in your writing from this place that is less specific than one of your adventures. It is amazing that your current adventure in writing and being in one place (something I know can be challenging).

Melissa said...

Thanks so much, everyone. It's easy to feel like I'm shouting into the void, but asking for people to say--hey, I'm here--feels a bit desperate. I do have a lot to say, it's just hard to believe that a stationary life has as much value as a mobile one. At least for me.

wfrenn said...

I too keep up with your blog and read also the comments. Remember your positive cognitive therapy when you get negative feedback. Tania Aebi (of Maiden Voyage fame) personally thanked on stage in Ft. Lauderdale the hundreds of critics, finger-waggers, and mean spirited writers to herself and her father for her going off at age eighteen to sail around the world. She said the letters only made her more stubbornly determined to complete what she had set out to do! Now there is positive cognitive therapy!
You may recall I wrote you off-line that rank and file blog readers can be very mean and petty.
Value the ones who love your work and spirit and ignore--IGNORE--the rest. Know that it is easy to find fault, hard to create and keep working at building.
As to your focus on being a writer vs. adventurer, sailor, hiker, etc., this is a false dichotomy. Even if you want to write pure fiction, it will be informed by the life you lead. You will write best about what you know best. My hope for you is that you get back to the sea. Your decision was necessary, but there is no finality in it if you love it still. Your terror of the sea was matched by your love of the maritime life. You gained experience and may find it again. With experience, you will always respect the sea, but never fear it.
They say you need to know your motives before planning a circumnavigation voyage. I would say this is equally true for your most recent focus: you need to examine your motives for seeking a rural country life. Security? Solitude? Seclusion? Sovereignty? A Room of Her Own? Flight? None of the Above?
There is no more difficult equation to write objectively than your own. But you will find infinite peace when you can answer to your own satisfaction, Why do I
I want this.
Many of your readers look to you not only for your honesty, but for your adventurous goals, and, despite your dooms of love, not giving up.
You may not wish for their admiration, but they seek inspiration and models of character, too.

The Capt'n