I know, I know. I promised weekly posts. And I was totally on track…. until last week, when I made a split second decision to share with somebody the first paragraph of a blog post before it was completely finished.
I remember thinking: yes! this is funny and witty and interesting. I even chuckled to myself, wanting to share my excitement immediately, get a laugh, a pat on the back, reassurance even. I wanted that exchange of nods to make me feel good and purposeful. And then I would carry on and finish.
But life doesn’t work that way, and my expectations were short lived.
When the aforementioned somebody surfaced from the screen (to my smug, grinning face), there was no kinship, no alliance, no obligatory bro’ slap. Instead I was met with cynicism, questioned, made to think. I was forced to explain my point, where I thought I was going and from what premise I’d begun.
What was this? How dare that person comment? And sensibly?!
And so the post languished and died a painful, lonely death. Needless to say, I didn’t take the feedback well.
The thing was, upon reflection, I’d been on a roll with this blogging business. I’d had comments, I’d had compliments. WordPress stats proved people actually viewed my posts and, with three new followers too, I was living the dream. But I was impatient for feedback. I needed a hit and couldn’t wait for the good stuff.
Well, that would teach me. My lesson was learned. I was feeling hurt, embarrassed, and quite obviously, I was not meant to be a writer.
Oh, what a fickle web we weave.
As usual (and I should know this by now), a few days later, I realised the somebody wasn’t actually out to get me, the somebody didn’t think my writing was a joke. They had merely reacted as a caring editor would do: objectively and truthfully, with my best interests at heart and a desire to read something worth reading.
If I put myself in that somebody’s position, just for a moment, it’s plain to see what a delicate balance must be achieved. From my perspective, feedback on my writing is like someone pulling out my teeth. But to someone who reads it, especially someone who cares, it’s like being the dentist: wanting to brighten the smile of your patient, but having to cause just a little bit of pain to get there.
In any case, I’ve bounced back. Is this post researched and referenced, planned and plotted? Nope. It sure isn’t. But you know what? It feels good. To say it. To impart my experience in the hope of encouraging another.
Because we can’t be perfect all of the time. In fact, if I waited for perfection, I would probably never write. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not good to ramble. But you have to let it flow sometimes. And see where it takes you.
As for that post I had started to write? Well, I’m currently researching my premise, working out my point, and then I will finish it! But in the meantime, here’s my thoughts, as I’ve thought them.
For surely there’s room for both.
A room for work and a room for play.