Writing is something I love to do. I have always been fortunate that my writing mentors are actual writers. Over the years they have helped me, encouraged me, guided me, offered constructive criticism, and helped me generally speaking become a better writer.
If you blog, you are exposed to many types virtually. They love to be your armchair quarterback and tell you what they think. Sometimes they are polite pen pals, very enjoyable to interact with. But then there are the other kinds of pen pals. These are the people who hide behind made up names and can’t just disagree, they have to verbally eviscerate you. It gets old.
Pen names are as American as apple pie, don’t misunderstand me, but it is not like they stand up and say who they are as they criticize. It is their right to comment using a non de plume, but sometimes I think they are being cowardly. They are not being courageous they just don’t want their neighbors to know.
If life was all hearts and flowers and fuzzy pint-sized ponies we would all listen to what our mothers and grandmothers said — “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” But I am a realist, so I don’t expect that.
It doesn’t mean, however, that just because I blog I am required to post angry tirades or ad hominem attacks. When you break it down, this is my creative space and I control the content.
That is why I like the delete button. Other people don’t like the delete button so much. Which is why I hang onto I.P. addresses and so on. There are a couple of I.P. addresses that are chronic ankle biters. It is all part of modern writing. It is a sometimes sad commentary, but it is just life.
But where is it we, as writers, draw the line? I used to publish all comments. Now I don’t. My writing isn’t put put there to be the free platform for the negativity of others.
Writing is an intensely personal thing yet it is public if it is on a blog or in print in the traditional sense. When you write you are putting yourself out there and it can be hard. But it is also rewarding because just when you lose faith in humankind, someone connects with a piece you have written, a photo you have taken, a shared experience.
Thank you to those of you who take this journey with me!