I rely heavily on first impressions.
I’m referring to my own first impressions. For the most part I like everybody as soon as I meet them, until they prove themselves high maintenance, untrustworthy, lacking compassion or just simply a pain in the ass. Religion, politics, social demographics, culture and partner preferences really don’t matter to me. I care about people’s spirit. I care about what is at the heart of a person. And yet, I worry extensively about how people perceive me, especially through my comments on other people’s blogs.
Commenting on other people’s blogs is like peeing with the door open. It feels embarrassing. I second guess every word, every thought before it hits the page, because once it is out there, I can’t take it back. There is no edit button.
- What if I misunderstood the message the writer was trying to convey?
- What if my humor or sarcasm is misinterpreted as snarkiness?
- What if I misspell something and look like a complete idiot?
- What if I don’t like what I read? How honest should I really be?
- What if my words are totally an out-of-body-artistic moment making my blog look like dribble?
I rather like my stealth approach to blog reading, slide in and out unnoticed. I get to be the child hiding at the top of the stairs, trying to figure out what mom and dad are whispering about. Reading behind closed doors is comfortable and unexposed. But I’ve learned two valuable lessons this week.
All Levels of Writers Need Encouragement and Feedback
Many of the blogs I read inspire me to be a better writer, a better mom, a better wife, a better everything. Their words seem to come effortlessly, day after day. They are the moon I want to hook my star to. It never occurred to me that maybe we were more alike than I realized, that maybe we share the same secret fear of not being liked or heard. Comments on my own blog fuel my desire to keep writing, sometimes cause me to look at things differently or reaffirm that my thoughts were right on target. I forgot other writers, writers I think are far more talented than myself, also need to be reminded how much their words impact lives and I didn’t think about how they seek community as much as I do. Selfishly, I just wanted to wrap their words around me, cover my creativity in their inspiration, and never risk being rejected .
Writing From the Heart is What Really Matters
Yes, I expose myself every time I post something on my blog, but somehow it feels less scary than a comment. I can manipulate the words a million times before hitting “publish”, and I can even wipe the slate completely clean if I change my mind later. But that comment, misspelled, misinterpreted, misquoted, could last a lifetime. But I forgot that even if the very first time you meet me is through a comment on someone else’s blog, that as long as I always write with integrity, compassion and honesty, I can stand by my words. My heart will show through the mistakes.
Thank you Theta Mom, Four Plus an Angel, Rock and Drool, and Mrs. Weber’s Neighborhood for reminding me to comment more. It was a big stretch for me to introduce myself to each you more intimately this week. Sometimes it is much easier to hide in my blog than be the woman behind the blog. For me, commenting has never been about increasing blog traffic, but something much more personal. However, I forgot that it helps build community, which is why I started blogging in the first place.