You don’t get to decide what hurts

One thing that I have learned since I started blogging is that for every post telling you not to do something, there is just as many posts telling you to go for it.  There are posts telling you to lighten up and posts telling you to write with more feeling.  There are posts telling you to stop writing for free, and there are posts telling you that accepting payment is the worst thing you can do.  Then there is everyone in between who is just trying to make sense of it all.  words hurtA few weeks ago a post did the rounds which said that all Mommy blogs sucked.  This isn’t a new thing.  Traditional media hates on digital media, including blogs on a regular basis.  This post in particular though stung a little too much.  Maybe it stung a little too much because it came from inside the ranks.  Or just maybe it stung a little too much because the writer used her own experience to tar an entire blogging community.

The conversation around this post got quite heated.  Her message got lost amongst all of the generalisations when the post seemed to be talking more about her personal journey and her own regrets.  Maybe the post wouldn’t have hit such a sore spot if she framed it more personally and less at an entire group of women.

Not everyone thought that the post was pointed at any one person though.  They seemed to believe that people who took offense had shortcomings and that maybe the post had forced them to look at their failings.  Or maybe people identified as a Mommy Blogger and so were hurt when a post told them that Mommy Bloggers suck?  You don’t get to decide if someone is hurt by your words.

The hard part about writing on the internet is that there are going to be people who misunderstand your words and the message you are trying to relay.  There are going to be people who read your words for the first time and don’t understand the pain behind them, or the journey that led to you writing them.  There are going to be people who feel hurt when they read those words, and you don’t get to decide that they don’t feel that pain.

However, the best part about the internet is that when words become too painful, we can find different ones.  Sometimes we may feel the need to talk about the pain that those words caused, and sometimes it is best to simply leave via the back door.  As a writer it’s important to understand that a disagreement, an admission of pain, does not mean an attack on you.

Through these disagreements, I truly believe that we grow.  How can we learn if we simply read the same opinions, the same stories and the same words on the page?  How can we expect to grow when we refuse to enter discussion from a different viewpoint?  Are we all so arrogant as to believe that only our experiences are the truth?

Have you had someone tell you your writing upset them?

How did you respond?

Linking up with Jess for IBOT!

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