Your Blog Could Cure Insomnia
One of my the best emails I ever received was the one where someone told me my blog could cure insomnia. Â It was proof that someone, somewhere took the time to read my words and respond to how I made him/her feel.
It might not have been the kind of response I had hoped to get. It might not have been praise but it was something that included constructive criticism.
Something along the lines of please delete and destroy all of your posts and forget your passwords because you are an awful writer.
It reminded me of the good old days when crackpots, wingnuts and whackjobs would stroll through here and threaten to kill me and or have my children removed from my home.
They didn’t like my politics and didn’t appreciate my posts. But they read and read and read and responded with as much vitriol as they could master.
Mind you those letters had about as much sophistication as an adult with the writing skills of a three-year-old could muster.
That kind of feedback is few and far between. People are too busy fighting on Facebook and Twitter about things they don’t understand but claim expertise in toÂ visit my blog.
Yep, the traffic here just isn’t what it used to be. My kids say it is probably because I shave my head but I say there is no correlation between the two.
And then I tell the kids their argument is as logical and sophisticated as most adults use on Facebook when debating politics.
Your Blog Could Cure Insomnia
It is too bad that this is an exaggeration and not truth because it could have changed my life.
If my blog really is/was a cure for insomnia I could license it out to some giant pharmaceutical manufacturer and make millions.
Hell I could look my children in the eye and tell them I am proud to say that we have become rich by bamboozling people into paying for something they don’t really need or have to have.
Or maybe not.
Maybe I could release the snark and tell them that my effort to become a better writer and storyteller had paid off in a most unexpected and unusual way.
Because if the blog cured insomnia it would probably mean that I was/am an awful writer whose devoid of skill. That might even bother me enough to get through my thick skin, but maybe not.
Millions of dollars and early retirement might be the kind of salve that eases the pain of such a wound.
What Writer’s Fear
I don’t know that I can speak for all writer’s about what we fear. Granted I could give you links to lists of things I fear like being eaten alive or being burned to death but that wouldn’t really address the question.
You wouldn’t hear that I wonder if I’ll ever complete a real story and sell it. You wouldn’t hear that I worry sometimes about whether my stories have enough substance to make them into the kind of tale that people would pay for.
Or maybe you’d hear that my biggest concern is that I’ll never get started and that I’ll fritter and waste my time talking about it and not doing it.
It is part of why I write each day and why I have been working on tying things together. It is part of why I have been thinking about what story I should tell first and how much reality/truth I’ll put into it.
More truth would make it easier to write now wouldn’t it or so Mr. Twain would have us believe.
It is too bad he is dead, I really would have liked to have met him. Better yet I’d love to have spoken with him about writing.
If things go as I hope and plan this is going to be the week I get to cross off a couple of items on my bucket list. I am on track to make them happen and if they do, I will blog about it.
But I won’t identify them now, won’t say more until they happen because I am superstitious that way.
It reminds me of a conversation I had with my son about how honest we are with people. It was one of those conversations where we talked about taking chances and being vulnerable with others.
I told him that sometimes you have to give others a chance to see what lies beneath the surface and to experience our/your heart.
When he told me it sounded like it could be hard I nodded my head and told him that sometimes it is scary.
“What happens if they don’t treat you well?”
“They might break your heart. They might hurt you.”
“That doesn’t sound good at all.”
“It is not, but sometimes they open theirs and you discover things about life I can’t explain. You have to experience them.”Millions of dollars and early retirement might be the kind of salve that eases the pain of such a wound.Click To Tweet
TheÂ funnyÂ thing is I didn’t tell him how many times I held back and how I sometimes wondered what would happen if certain people and I had real conversations. Conversations about what we really thought and felt.
He is a cautious lad and I was concerned that if I told him about how many times I protected myself it might make him hold back more.
I don’t want to be that kind of influence. I want him to figure this stuff out in way that works for him, don’t know what way that will be, but I am confident he will get there.
Change Is Coming
There is a good chance that I’ll change the theme here soon. I haven’t made a final decision but I am thinking about moving to something that provides a better reading experience.
Something that allows for bigger pictures and more storytelling opportunities. If you stick around I promise you’ll be among the first to know when I mix it up.
Carrie Rubin October 20, 2015 at 10:06 am
“Millions of dollars and early retirement might be the kind of salve that eases the pain of such a wound.”—Ha, yes, I imagine this is exactly how E.L. James feels every time someone criticizes her 50 Shades series. 🙂
Jack Steiner October 21, 2015 at 7:16 am
I would think so. A chunk of change like that probably goes a long way to making it easy to laugh at criticism.
Ryan Biddulph October 19, 2015 at 10:46 am
Critics are talking about themselves, but just project on you. Ditto for folks who lather on that praise 😉 I enjoy being present, breathing deeply and trying not to take credit for when folks skewer me or praise me, because I had no real hand in either situation. Strange stuff, I know 😉 Thanks for your open, honest and fun share.
Jack Steiner October 20, 2015 at 7:40 am
You are right. Critics project and listening to them is the kind of thing that should be done with caution and limit. That is not to say there might not ever be something legitimate there, but many times there isn’t and it is just a waste of energy.
Larry October 14, 2015 at 5:28 pm
Talk about a double edged compliment. Well, I guess it implies people need to be reading to suffer insomnia.
Sounds like some potentially exciting news. I look forward to hearing it.
Jack Steiner October 16, 2015 at 12:15 pm
I go back and forth about the feedback and whether it is a good or bad thing. Most of the time I figure it is a good thing because if I moved someone to write that note there are probably others who were motivated to feel something too.
Hopefully positive. 🙂
Renee McKinley October 14, 2015 at 4:11 am
This, “Or maybe youâ€™d hear that my biggest concern is that Iâ€™ll never get started and that Iâ€™ll fritter and waste my time talking about it and not doing it.” That is where I am. Every day. Voices in my head telling me stories, trying to out shout the other voices. The ones that laugh and tell me to stop dreaming. That there are more important things to do. You keep going Jack. And I’ll keep trying to muzzle the ‘others’.
Jack Steiner October 16, 2015 at 12:11 pm
It is a challenge for all of us, but I think we all have to focus and push through. Those voices exist for all of us, I feel and hear them too.
Janine Huldie October 14, 2015 at 3:21 am
I am also constantly changing and evolving as I go along with my blog and writing in general, too. I truly can’t wait to see what changes you have in store and am excited for you now! 🙂
Jack Steiner October 16, 2015 at 12:05 pm
I have a deep appreciation for writers who keep striving to improve and who aren’t afraid to take chances. Thank you for the support, I appreciate it.