When you blog, people get to see one side of you, the side you present to them.  You may open up, share both painful and positive stories, but people make assumptions.  They intuit things about your personality- let’s just say we’re all a bit like Columbo.  And some of these things are dead on accurate- every word someone writes, every picture clearly show the definition of who you are.  But, sometimes, it’s harder to see the truth in someone’s personality- sometimes the person sends opposite messages.

For example.  I am a very shy person.  I know I’m opinionated, and never fail to make my opinion known.  I know I will argue until I have not a point left to utter.  I know I have a certain level of self-confidence.  But I am still shy.

So what does shy mean to me?  I don’t like parties.  I am not the type of person who will introduce themselves to everyone.  When at a party, I’m the one in the corner, making snide comments with the one person I know.  I’m not dancing on the tables (though I have a college friend, SF, who might argue this point, but he never comments, so I’m safe…..)  As much as I talk, and yes- I have a big and loud mouth- I am really more of an observer.  I watch the way people interact- I see the body language of a couple clearly headed for a break-up, or the hunched shoulders of a woman who clearly has way too much on her mind. I eavesdrop on conversations -sorry- you shouldn’t talk about how you don’t remember which brother you had sex with (last night) because you thought they were both cute when you are on a subway or talk about the way you are going to lie to your wife (that night) while you are walking down the street- I will judge you.

I also have trouble commenting on other peoples blogs.  Seriously.  I didn’t comment on anyone the first month I blogged.  I was terrified that people would dismiss my opinion, not care what I had to say.  This is where the bad part of shyness comes in, the fear of doing something because you are scared to interact.

I needed to overcome this.  Every time I comment on a blog it is hard for me.  I still don’t know if I have anything to add to the table.  I worry that my contribution will be paltry compared to what others say.  I know it doesn’t seem like that- but it’s true.  One truth.

Second truth.  When I was in 7th grade, my English teacher told me, and my mother, that I was not a good writer.  This crushed me, because 7th grade me wanted to be a writer.  It was my dream.  Now my Mother, not always the most sensitive person, blamed me- because I should be a good writer, because I clearly had the aptitude (damn IQ test).  She hired a tutor, and on Monday nights I sat with this tutor.  My tutor didn’t understand why she was spending Monday nights with me, because she said there was absolutely nothing wrong with my writing.  I had the basics of grammar and punctuation.  I understood how to open and close a composition.  I knew how to back up my points.  She told my Mother that there must be a personality issue between the teacher and me.

My Mother did not like the version that the tutor presented.  My Mother decided I wasn’t working hard enough.  And we once again enter the world of parental expectations……

But it wasn’t only my Mother that crushed me this time- it was also a teacher.  And even though every other teacher I ever had in school was actually pretty wonderful, this one teacher crushed my spirit.  It was then I decided that I would not be a writer.

So the truth is- I don’t think I’m a good writer.  This is not a humble brag.  I am shocked and amazed whenever someone tells me that I am a good writer, or that they like my posts.  Truly.

You have no idea how hard it is for me to push the publish button.  I second guess every word, every sentence, every paragraph, every post.  Yesterday was the first time I ever post-edited a piece (except for glaring spelling errors, and forgetting to put a title)  I try not to edit after I publish because I will always find something wrong with my words- I will always think of a better way to say something, or a point that I missed.  There is a chance that I would only have one post on this blog because I would be constantly reworking it.  I don’t think my words on the page are good.  But I keep trying.

No lie.

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113 thoughts on “Two Truths, No Lie

  1. You have the skill of weaving together a cohesive story — a talent many would-be writers struggle with. You take the reader seamlessly from A to B, and we enjoy the journey. So keep writing. And we’ll keep reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I, like you, am shy. I almost never comment on other people’s blogs because I can’t find the words to say. It sounds cheesy to me.

    If I spend an hour writing, I will spend another editing. I think too much about things. I change words, like safely home becomes home safely. Like it matters?

    When I was a kid I wanted to be a singer. My teacher hated me and basically told me I sucked. After singing karaoke at my 20th class reunion someone asked if I was the choir star. How do I explain that that teacher killed my dream? I always wondered what it would be like. Now I sit watching my daughter, who has my voice, go to college for opera singing angry at someone long dead for crushing my dream.

    You are a good writer, but I believe it takes more than that. Having interesting things to say and a story to tell almost means more to me. You have that. Although I personally still lament over the time I spelled cries wrong 8 months ago.

    Keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t edit my work, other than spelling and making sure I didn’t omit a word, etc. I sit down, write and submit. Sometimes, if I know I have a busy schedule I prewrite, but I have to keep myself away so I don’t go edit crazy. And it is amazing how one person, usually an adult, can shatter your dreams so efficiently. And they think kids are bullies……Same thing with my kid….she’s already had things published and won writing contests/awards…and she doesn’t even want to be a writer….it’s her hobby . Thanks for the great comments!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Those who told you couldn’t write may have just missed the warmth and courage in your writings.

      I had a uniquely different experience while growing up. An elementary school teacher encouraged me to write, as did my Mom. In recent times it was my daughter who pushed me into publishing what I wrote. All along, I was the one who constantly questioned my own ability. Now, dozens of short stories and four published books later, I am getting more pleasure from writing and meeting readers than anything I had ever done before – and I had done some truly exciting things before.

      I hope you will continue to write.

      Warm wishes from one writer to another!
      Marty Herman

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with the comment above – don’t think just write. My first month or so of blogging I would edit and re-edit constantly. I write for my job too and that is the only time I now worry about content and grammar, etc. Just write from your heart – people are more interested in your story and advice not whether or not spelling is correct or if you used the correct verb, etc. And comment on blogs even if it is a short statement such as “great post” Your fellow bloggers (like me) enjoy any type of feedback. Keep up the great work – I am enjoying your posts.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I, too, enjoy your posts and your comments. I always wondered why you didn’t comment a lot and now I know why. I like it when you comment on my blog. You give me things to think about. Keep writing. We all have demons we need to slay. Slay them a little every day. I’ll tell you what you told me. Keep writing. I love readings your posts. Now go write 😁and have a great weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh my goodness…we are such opposites. I am always afraid I leave too much comment! And I know my grammar is atrocious and my punctuation is haphazard and I use way too many exclamation marks and will capitalize words for drama but that is me! I write like I talk and if anyone wants to judge me for my lack of proper writing skills, go ahead because I write for ME, not for the Grammar Police. I share my heart, my pain, my joy, my struggles and life is just too damn hard as it is to give a “flying fickle finger of fate” (you have to be my age to get that reference).
    Your content is what I want to read and so far, I have been very happy with it. So easy up there, pilgrim.
    “We like you, we really like you!”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. oh dear oh dear.. what can I say.. I’ll tell ya what I can say ..
    I love your posts, they’re well crafted and always keep me interested. Just keep writing..

    I ramble on posts, not a jot do I care.. I’m enjoying blogging as I’m sure you are..

    Just write girl.. because you can .. and we all like you..

    d

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think there are a lot of shy people out here, pretending to be confident, pretending to be grown up, some just pretending. There are also those whose comments often appear, to me at least, to be pretentious.

    We like you exactly as you are, and I say that with the complete confidence that I put on each morning, and sometimes have to readjust several times during the day!

    Keep writing, just for the sheer hell of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for being brave and transparent! I agree with all the of the previous comments! You have some very encouraging fellow bloggers, so just relax and be the person that you know you are. It’s amazing how powerfully a parent or teacher can impact one’s life – it can sometimes just be a wrong comment.
    I remember when my wife was doing a practicum as a physiotherapist – because she is a very quiet introvert – she was told that she was not good with kids. Well, we now have 5 awesome adult children – 4 married and 2 young grandchildren! Btw – I am an introvert as well – but NOT shy! A very interesting book I read is called “QUIET – The Power of an Introvert in a World that can’t stop talking”
    As for my blog – I am not a wordy person – although I enjoy reading – my goal is to post an interesting photo with a good caption.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I love your photos because they don’t need words…they are captivating and beautiful and say so much. That’s a gift! I know….people think that it’s only kid bullies, but I think the words of “mature” adults have haunted me. I don’t ever remember a kid being that cruel to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank-you (insert your name)! You raise an interesting point about the words of “mature” adults versus kids – although I’m sure there are also many folks who been scarred by being bullied by their young peers, and how stressful it must for young people in this crazy age of social media.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m probably that one person in the corner with you at parties, snarking and judging. I’m probably telling you what his shoes say about him and what her shoes say about him. (No, that wasn’t a typo, her shoes probably say something about him.)

    And as for what other people once said about you…fuck ’em. Somebody once told me (very early in my 12 step recovery from addiction) that I was going to relapse. I STILL haven’t changed my clean date, so that shows you what that person knew about me. Just because your mom didn’t like your writing doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer in the same way that just because my mom thought my high school paper about the works of Edgar Allen Poe was disturbing didn’t mean that my literature papers weren’t publishable. (As a matter of fact, the more disturbing my lit papers are, the more publishable I’m told they are. Go figure.)

    You do you, and keep writing, because you are definitely adding something of value to my world when I read your words. Thank you for that!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I wish I could say that I always write what I feel. However, I do hold back. People that know me & Mrs B occasionally read my blob, so when I’m really pissed I do hold back. It took my until just a few weeks ago to tell him how pissed I was during the great septic system debacle; he said had I not told him, he would never have known😯

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Ah, yes, I could really relate, both to your shyness and your insecurity about writing, commenting, and pushing that “publish” button (Is it good enough? Is it ready yet? Have I said what I intended? Have I said it well?….). I was blessed, though, to have had a 6th grade teacher who told me I was a great writer and encouraged me to write. When I happened to run into him about ten years later, his first question was, “Are you still writing?” Yep, I was, and still am. Thanks for this post.
    P.S. – I really enjoy your blog and think you are a very good writer. Non-supportive teachers and critical parents be damned!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. We are a lot alike. I’m the same at parties. I will talk to the few people I know well and try to avoid the rest. I think I am a terrible writer and I struggle to comment on posts and participate in conversations online because I feel I bring nothing to the table.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Fantastic job today. We’ve covered a lot of this, so I don’t want to repeat myself. But it’s important to say you need to know that you are good. Too many of us feel that way about what you write. So it must be true.

    And about that table dancing comment… hmmm…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I always get the side eye on my first few comments. And if it’s not acknowledged on some plane of the universe I just unfollow. I’m all for a little self promotion but it shouldn’t be the only reason someone is here…maybe that’s just me. Also…God’s honest *very* often I’ll make my first comment on a woman’s page, to be ignored while she answers all the women…and if it’s a man, they often will ignore me and answer only the ladies, too! Unfollow! Lol! It’s tough for someone who likes to read AND talk! I once was the lone commenter on a blog that documented two dogs run by a lady and her husband…dollars to donuts Manzo made her erase them all months later. Unfollow! And I sent a heartfelt message to a guy who’s mother had also just passed away…no answer but he chatted up his friends. Unfollow! That one stung a lot! Why am I saying all this?…cause I like to shout UNFOLLOW!….(and I also like to comment 😊)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love when all different people comment, but I know exactly what you mean! There’s one woman who I think have a similar sensibility to me, so I comment, which is hard, and she’s very standoffish. No engagement at all! I value men’s and women’s opinions equally. What fun is it only talking to people of the same gender!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, right! Yeah, I started to get a major complex on my old page. Sure it was a little “blue” at times, maybe they didn’t want to be asociated with that 😂😂😂 Who knows…times have changed hopefully. And sometimes I get really embarrassed by someones offputting response to me when they’ve misread me and I awkwardly throw out a Take Care:) and exclude myself immediately! Who knew it was so complicated!?

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I for one am glad you push that ‘publish button’ and understand exactly what you are saying. I too was in the 7th grade when it suddenly came into my mind while walking home from school that someday I would be a writer. I remember stopping on the sidewalk and thinking, but what will I write? What kind of books? For many years a second message inside has been, ‘ you have no imagination, you can’t write’ and I believed it until now, at the start of my 70th decade I have decided to push past my fears and write and get published! Oh and to stay healthy enough to enjoy the whole thing. Shyness will probably never go entirely away but listen to that original voice inside that says, YOU ARE A WRITER xo

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m another one like you – in the actual, physical public world, I’m the one in a darkened corner, sucking in all the interaction between the other humans in the room – but never diving in myself. I am the observer first, the watcher second, and the wallflower third.

    Actual interaction is a distant 4th…if at all.

    I got over the publish-button phobia a long time ago, though. If people don’t like my words, it’s their loss, not mine, and they’re just not bright enough to understand the thought processes behind the text.

    Commenting on other electronic media, however – well, there, I still struggle. It’s another’s personal electronic space, and therefore sacrosanct…like their little digital home. You just don’t go to another’s home and shit in the middle of the living room floor, after all. So I usually heavily moderate tone and content when I offer my own pithy observations on someone else’s page.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Boy are we similar! But I know how much I value comments others make, and how I learn from them and actually get inspired by them. I’ve written a few lists that were y
      Triggered by conversations I’ve had via comments. I’ve learned so much! And I like when people have opposing points of view! Makes life a little bit spicy! Thank you for amazing comments!!

      Like

      1. Don’t we all. I once worked as a consultant for a non-profit educational foundation. Part of my job was to conduct workshops to help teachers better implement math instruction. At the end of every workshop the participants evaluated my training. It could be agony! I’d get overwhelmingly great scores of 4.5 and 5, but if I received a 3, I was devastated.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s so hard! We work so hard and hope to be seen like that! I remember some tv show, there was a Frasier episode once, with a focus group.one guy didn’t like Frazier, and Frazier spent the entire episode trying to win over the guy. The episode is a lot funnier than I described it

        Liked by 1 person

  16. This is so me. I’m the same and all because someone made a nasty remark about a little memoir paragraph I wrote about a person who’s just passed.

    It’s not true. You have a wonderful blog and you write just fine. People have their own opinions, but that’s what they are, opinions, not facts.

    I struggle when commenting all the time, every comment. It’s a big deal, rereading all the time, questioning my words. I think it’s more common than we think too.

    Excellent post. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Well, you’re at 39 “likes” and “64 comments” as I post this, so I think that teacher didn’t know what he/she was talking about. LOL Keep going. Just write from your heart, and the rest will follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Kuddos to you for pushing through the limitations that try and hold you back. I think you write wonderfully. I am always amazed and in awe that you turn out something good and original each day. Truly inspired.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. A brave post. I think there is a little of you in all of us. When I first started blogging, I would click the publish button after many rewrites and rethinks, then I’d leap away from the computer and go to do something else, venturing back much later to see whether anyone had seen my post, much less liked or commented. It got easier as time went on. No-one can ever really knows us from what we post on a blog. We show our best whenever we interact on social media. Facebook is full of people’s ‘highlights,’ yes some people document every waking moment, (as though anyone else really cares) and these are the ones who you eventually simply scroll past. Blogging is fun, it’s lighthearted and you meet some wonderful people by taking part. I’m sorry your writing spirit was crushed, but guess what? You write, you are a writer, and I for one look forward to reading more of your writings. X

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Well- my two cents (For what they’re worth) is that you write very well and this particular post is incredibly relatable! I have moments like that too. I press the publish button…cringe… panic… and eventually realize it wasn’t so bad… Great post! 🙂 I enjoy your blogs!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Negativity is very powerful. Being told that you are not good at something, not smart, or “unable to write” can be very detrimental to a person, especially a child.

    I was always told similar things and have similar feelings as you. Don’t remember those things that cause you to doubt your ability or second guess yourself. You already put yourself out there with blogging. Keep going, comment all you want, and know that nothing or no one should stop you!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. People are so complicated, aren’t we? I think that even when we meet in person, there are always parts of each other that we never really know or understand. I’m always amazed when people tell me they think I’m calm and confident, because I am neither. Apparently, it’s a face I sometimes show the world, though.
    As for your seventh grade teacher: she blew it, big time! She never should have said that to you or any other child. It’s is tragic how many children are robbed of their true creativity just because some authority figure decides to tell them they are wrong or untalented. It’s hard enough for a young person to gain confidence in their creative skills…writing or otherwise…without someone smacking them down. I’m so sorry that happened to you. Because you are a good writer!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah that just goes to show how wrong impressions can be! And I am truly sorry that you have had to live with that teacher’s words all this time. I’m not just being nice, you really are a good writer. I wish there was a way to erase what she said, and to remove the stain in put on your soul!

        As for comments on blogs, I sometimes hesitate too. Sometimes I just don’t know what I really want to say, or fear it will come off as trite and irrelevant. There are times when I only comment because I know the blogger appreciates the comment, and that gives me the strength to do it. Other times, it’s easy… go figure!

        Liked by 1 person

  23. When I started my blog the intention was to make it completely anonymous. My main reason wasn’t that I really had secrets to tell, but that I didn’t want anyone I know to judge my writing. After a few weeks of that, I finally gave up because NO ONE was reading it! So I quietly spread the word to a few friends, a few former colleagues, etc. And then, of course the WP community of like-minded bloggers eventually find it. I am still incredibly self-conscious about my writing, and I don’t dare let any of my actual family members know about the blog. But you’re right in that it is about confidence. I’ll never become Christopher Hitchens or David Sedaris, but I’m doing something I enjoy. I hope you are too. 🙂 – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I am a few days behind most of those who read your blog and commented but it would seem that you have struck a chord with so many, myself included. It makes me realise just how many people are out there feeling insecure about what they do, how they look, what they have….it really is time we all started to accept ourselves as wonderfully unique and celebrate that fact. But at 64 I’m still trying to get my head around it, just have to take tiny steps and eventually I may get there. Keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Oh man, am I glad I finally took the time to catch up on some of your blog posts like I’ve been meaning to do for a few weeks now, because I’m glad I didn’t miss this. So much of what you say resonates with me. I don’t like parties either. I hate the sort of “shmoozing” you have to do at office parties where you are not familiar with lots of people. Honestly, even if I’m at a large party full of friends I’m usually in a corner talking to one or two people. I’m not good at “working the room”. The truth is, I’m an introvert. And in certain contexts I’m also shy (the two are not interchangeable labels for the same personality trait). When I used to work summer jobs when younger I used to be terrified of constantly having to interact with strangers. I hate speaking in front of crowds. Years later, if I’m not confident about the content of what I am working on, I still get anxious if I have to discuss it on the phone with someone. I would have failed at any profession involving marketing or sales. Even teaching, because it involves performance, to a certain degree, would have been difficult for my type of anxiety.

    But I was one of the first generations to absorb the digital age relatively naturally. I wasn’t born into it like today’s young people are. I remember Life Before Internet. I certainly remember Life Before Mobile Phones. But I was still young enough to absorb the technological changes fast and naturally. In the age of social media, expressing your point of view on the internet, whether through social media or blogging, etc, is as normal to younger people as talking and texting, so I didn’t have to overcome as much shyness. In fact, the anonymity of the Internet almost makes it easier. Yes, negative feedback still hurts, but at least you’re not facing the person while it happens. Of course, the flip side of this advantage is that bullying is so much easier (and so much more prevalent) online because bullies are often cowards and it takes much less courage to say something nasty when hiding behind a username in the privacy of your own home than it does to say it in person. This bothers me. So when I set up my blog, while I knew it would stay anonymous to the general public, I decided that I wanted to be able to stand over anything I publish in person to my friends and family as well as to strangers who I never have to see or interact with. So I also post links to my blog on my Facebook (where I know exactly who each and every one of my friends is). Part of this was to act as an incentive not to abandon my project of writing daily. If my success or failure was public (even if no one is paying attention) it’s a greater incentive for me to keep going. But like you, I don’t usually believe that what I have to say is necessarily of value to anyone else. I shout into the great big void of the Internet because I can, and because I found myself enjoying writing again (though what I was thinking about when I decided to do it daily for a year, I don’t know – looking forward to cutting the schedule back when I hit #365!). But every time I hear back from someone who finds my writing interesting, hell, every time I actually find out that someone else has bothered to read my posts, I am endlessly amazed. I actually hope to never lose that excitement. I don’t want to take people’s interest in my writing for granted.

    So while I don’t share your fear of commenting, I understand where it comes from. And you know what? I’m so glad you have conquered it (or are at least in the process of conquering it). Because first of all every time you comment on my writing I get this complete and total egomaniacal head rush of excitement, but secondly because I find your writing interesting, insightful, and just the right level of slightly caustic/sarcastic for my taste that I’m always glad to have discovered your blog, which only came about because you bothered to read mine and I followed your comments back.

    So there you have it. My theory on avoiding anxiety when it comes to blogging and commenting is having the default setting that no one really cares, but if they don’t care, they don’t have to read it. And then when people do read and let you know how much they value your writing, the feeling is much sweeter for not being expected. I think that’s much better than the converse: hoping that someone likes your work and finds it valuable and being disappointed by the deathly silence whenever no one responds.

    Sorry this is so long. I have lots of feelings on this topic. I’m so glad you wrote about it.

    Like

    1. Never too long! Absolutely wonderful comment! I am so glad we found one another because I think you touch on so many of my own thoughts! I am trying to overcome my commenting fear (of course I picked a time when I am tremendously busy instead of a down time, but you know, why do things the easy way) because I felt I was truly missing out on great exchanges and stimulating conversation!

      Liked by 1 person

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