We all poop. We bleed when we’re cut.We laugh when it’s funny, and we cry when it hurts. But sometimes it feels like an uphill battle to be recognized as having feelings, by people who I think matter. I try really hard to be thoughtful. I don’t always hit the mark, but it’s rarely intentional. I’m careless sometimes, but then I generally realize it and feel terrible. I apologize; I try to make amends. I try again. In a year that has been especially focused in my personal life on moving on from things, letting relationships that don’t work go, owning my own needs and worth–– it’s been a strange realization that the world where I write, is often the place I feel the most unheard.
That is a hard thing to swallow, because writing is also where I feel the most me. It’s where I lay things raw and try to share without filters. I put myself out there, and I hang in the wind. For the most part, it fills me. And no doubt, writing is not for sissies. Maybe I’ve become one? But lately I have felt hurt by folks in my blogging community, in my writing community–– by people whose opinions matter to me. I’ve felt abandoned, and a couple of times, used. Yes, it’s irksome, the Daily prompt, but as I started to write this post, I realized it transcends even that. How to put it less whiny? I’m not sure I can, and still be honest.
I’ve said it before: I see my writing communities as sacred. If I “Follow” your blog, I read your posts. Ok, so you’re doing Nano Poblano–– blogging every day in November? I admit, I choose which ones to read, because I just can’t read most posts every day. But I look. I never hit delete, without looking first. I try to leave comments, not just Likes. I know what it feels like to write something and then feel like there are only crickets. If you are publishing something, I try to buy it, read it, and support it. Putting together an anthology? I donate, even if I’m not submitting work, because I think it’s important to those who are. I recommend folks for awards (real ones, like BlogHer Voices of the Year), and I vote when your books or pieces are nominated for things. And no, I’m not perfect; I miss the mark on some of these things. But I do my best, because I think writers should be supported, in any way I can. Each of us is putting ourselves out there, and that takes courage, faith, and chutzpah. It’s hard. If you mean something to me, I try to support your efforts.
My therapist (I’m on the lifer plan) has a saying that I hate: You are entitled to your labor, but not the fruits of your labor. He’s right; I know it. But lately I feel like people I have thought of as part of my tribe, my writing tribe, aren’t really there for me, and I can’t help it, that bothers me. I have struggled to write, and then when I do, folks aren’t there. I see them in other places; I know they’re still making rounds… just not round to me. Folks ask me favors: can I help hook them up at Huffington Post (Actually, no. HF chooses their writers and I have no real pull. None. Not because I don’t want to support you, but because I can’t). Can I help put a blog post out there? Can I give advice? But they aren’t reading my work, or helping support my efforts to keep on plugging. It’s hard enough to plug along, but that much harder when you feel alone.
Some of you are always there. You know who you are, and please know that you mean so much to me! My Friday Fictioneer buddies area wonderful about reading my 100-word ditties each time, and I do my best to read theirs. I’m a little put out when other bloggers only read those 100-word pieces, and don’t take the time for bigger posts, while I read and comment on theirs. In all likelihood, they won’t be reading this one either. The folks who are there over and over–– I know who you are, and I know you’ll be the ones to say: “don’t let it bother you; hold your head up; keep on plugging…” Thank you. Sincerely, thank you, you, you, you, you/Mike, you, you/Heidi, you, you/Redwoods, you, youMary Ellen, and you. I know how lucky I am to have your support. I know it, and I appreciate it. This
rant purge effort to express myself, is not directed at any of you.
But I do let things get to me. I do question my worth and my ability to write. I question my writing worth, when folks I have respected and shared with, don’t take the time for me and my work. It’s not just tit for tat, it’s about supporting each other in efforts that are hard won and important. It’s about being real and following through. If you ask me to write a plug for your book/post/work, then honor that and send the love back. Don’t forget you asked, and then leave my plug swinging in the wind. Don’t ask for favors, when you aren’t taking the time to do me the favor of a read. Don’t say “let’s support each other,” and then disappear. It sucks. It makes me question these connections. It hurts. If you’re still reading, you may see why I’m still in therapy.
Blogging/writing is a very personal and special world. We all work hard to connect and build relationships. We rely on each other to build traffic and feel heard. Of course, we all have busy lives. We all have families, issues, losses and joys, that we’re grieving or celebrating. We miss a post here or there.Some bloggers are just so big that it’s hard to keep up (first world writing problems). I’m no different. I put myself out here and try hard to honor the fact that you do to. But when you drop off the radar completely, or never really show up, it’s more than irksome; it’s hard not take it a little personally. Sure, maybe I’ve been naive in some of my perceptions–– believing some relationships are “realer” than they are. Clearly I’ve read some signs the wrong way. I was never good at dating either. But now you know: I wear my heart on my sleeve; I take things (too) seriously; I’m not perfect, and I care. A few telling Tweets or missing Likes and I bleed. A few too many slights and I blow (in case you weren’t sure what this post is all about) and yeah… we all poop.
If you feel like I’ve been a hypocrite here, if you feel like I don’t hold up my end of our writing friendship, if you feel the same way or not, if you just have some thoughts about this, leave a comment. I appreciate hearing your feedback. And if you’d like to contribute to the daily prompt, check it out here.
Insert writer for rapper and enjoy this ditty! Really, play it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuJzSTNDUGI
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