The problem with writing is that there is the thing you think you wrote. You had these thoughts and you wanted to share them or part of them or say something about them, so you put them into words. And you think these words mean this. And you write them. You string together sentences and paragraphs to express the stuff you were thinking or feeling. But you may or may not have actually written what you were thinking. You might have picked a bad word or wrote it in a rush or been thoughtless.
Then there is the reader. They read what you wrote. They take in those words and process them. They maybe read the words there and may get what those words mean to you. Maybe not. Maybe they think a certain thing themselves and that comes into play.
It’s a really imprecise thing and to be super honest it’s hard to do right. If you make sure sure sure you never say anything that could ever ruffle anyone then you aren’t really saying anything. You certainly can’t talk about feelings or experiences, love, sex, dating, death, money, or really anything important and expect not to ruffle anyone. But you can have some standards and make some efforts not to be a dick.
I have totally failed at this and it’s shitty.
And here is the thing about writing about your life and your feelings and your experiences. Sometimes people don’t like them. You would hope those people would just not read your blog, or that they would talk to you about the objectionable things and work it out. You try to explain yourself if you can. You try to listen, and make amends or corrections or something if you can. If I made a dick move I try to correct it and to apologize and make amends. I try to get that sometimes I was a dick.
Sometimes I try to explain what I was meaning. Trying to see how they read it as they did, I might try to explain or clarify what was meant by a thing. Misunderstandings in any text type media are rampant. And people bring their own stuff to the table too. We humans have a tendency to think a lot of things are about us that aren’t. I would say MOST of the time that I’ve upset someone here it’s been this type. A friend will read my saying some flippant thing like “some people are picky eaters” and they will think I meant them because the last time we hung out they didn’t eat their dinner because it had green peppers in it, or something.
And the other mistake I make a lot is being thoughtless. I’ll write about what I think is ME and my stuff and step on toes because I was totally not thinking about the other person because I thought I’d said only my part of a thing. I thought I was talking about ME. This is probably the one I hate the most, because it’s totally my error and my fault and I hate hurting people with my lack of thought. It’s a dick move.
And then you have the situations where people aren’t going to like what you say, no matter what you say really. They will hate open relationships or redheads or green peppers. They won’t like that you are bisexual or kinky or poly or liberal or live in Seattle. They might dislike you for being a race, or a religion or a lack of one. They might just not like the cut of your jib. Unfortunately I’ve had a lot of those too. Most of the emails and such that I get are overwhelmingly positive and kind. As a writer there is nothing better to me than feedback, comments, messages, and likes or votes or whatever. It’s quiet out here in cyberspace and I love that someone is out there.
But some of the things people say are mean or biting or pretty wretched. I TRY to listen to it and see if there is any truth in it and take that and leave the rest. The hardest ones though are those that are personally mean. I’m a human. Ive talked to “real writers” about this too and I don’t think it ever goes away. I think you learn to have tools to deal the feelings that come up, but the barbs hurt. My own mean thoughtless words have cost me people I care about, and their barbs have cost them too. Some words I’d give just about anything to have never said or heard.
I have been having a hard time writing here for a while because it isn’t the little anonymous blog I’d hoped to create and where I could toss things into the internet and maybe find people that relate. I didn’t have anyone in my life that I wasn’t dating that could relate to navigating polyamory or opening up their relationship. I wanted somewhere to put my thoughts and feelings about my love sex and relationships, and I found a community of people that related. It became not a private blog pretty quickly and over time I’ve adjusted to it because I thought it was worth it. I thought some of the things I was saying were good things to say or that people would relate to them. People sent messages saying that they were helped by this thing or that thing and that felt good to me. I liked that I could be useful in some way or that even the painful stuff.. maybe especially the painful stuff, could be a thing that helped someone. It’s been an amazing thing to come here and to get to talk to all of you about all of these things, but I’m thinking about killing this blog.
I have to admit the idea makes me very sad. I’ve put a lot into this and you have too. I’ve loved meeting some of you and getting to know you. I’ve loved so much connecting with people this way. I know it’s only a stupid little blog, but it’s been years of effort and I was proud of it.
But for a while now it’s gotten less and less safe to write here. I wavered between being so careful I really said nothing of substance or didn’t write at all. Or I held my nose and jumped in because I needed this outlet or I thought what I was saying was worth it.
But I just don’t think I can do this anymore. I might retool the whole thing and write a more general blog or do a podcast that isn’t about my life, or I might just go to message boards to chat with people or something.
*edit.. I did kill that blog and have created this new one. 🙂