01 August 2011

Of Thin Skin

It took a great number of years - or comparatively so for the span of years I have lived thus far - for me to discover my real passion in life.  It was not until I was in my early twenties that I realized those younger years of awkward cursive on paper in the form of short stories my brain would spew out, coupled with my knack for editing friends' papers through high school and an unexpected love in my senior year elective creative writing class were all indications of my heart's desire.  I longed to write.  I enjoyed doing so and to be actually paid for such an endeavor would be a true dream.

Turns out I'm not one who finds great ambition in the pursuit of dreams, but I am working on the discipline aspect.  The one true notion which has always inhibited my ability to truly embrace this dream is my incapacity for taking criticism - mostly that of the un-constructive nature.

I have always found, in this technological age of being infinitely connected to others of the world who we know not personally, that one negative response to a blog comment or note to another on Facebook will turn me into a downward spiral.  My stomach goes in knots, my blood boils, my mind races with witty comebacks which I know I will never deem to write, for lack of desire in being entangled in another's bitter tirade.

I become consumed.

All due to one response, by someone of whom I know nothing other than the pointed words typed on the screen before me.

If this is how I respond to such meaningless drivel as is poured forth by internet "trolls" who get their kicks from making others miserable, how could I possibly bear to stand naked before the world, my mind laid bare on the pages of a book, inviting negativity, anger and bitterness in droves from those who are merely waiting for a single mis-step, wrong word or incorrect theory?

How will this girl ever develop a skin thick enough for the goal she pursues?


  1. Don't let the meanies get you down. You are a fantastic writer, and I'd totally buy your book.

  2. lol - that scares me, too, because the book I'm writing right now is kind of a memoir of my time in Russia ;)  God taught me a lot while I was there!

  3. This is why I don't blog much anymore. And someday when I (hopefully) get a novel published, I've vowed NOT to read the comments section on Amazon. I can handle criticism better than I used to, but it still stings. My strategy is to only pay attention to criticism from people I love and trust.

  4. I definitely think that's why it bothers me most when it's people I don't know - though that should bother me least - but I feel unjustly accused when someone doesn't know my character and it hurts to be so mis-judged.  When it's someone I know, at least we can work it out reasonably.  I won't criticize your book, promise!

  5. I can start making mean comments to toughen you up if you'd like.

    Your blog smells funny.

    There. Did that help?

  6. Hmm.  Not so much.  But thanks for trying.  You're a true friend ;)