Truth Be Told Tuesday

Truth Be Told Tuesday

I have to come clean.

I can’t stand a critical person.

I have to be honest with you, I from time to time am a critical person – especially when it comes to certain details and getting things right. However, I am not talking about people that just comment on what they do or do not prefer.

I am certainly not talking about the kind of person that just speaks their mind about a matter that they are passionate about, or those who offer their opinions when asked. That is not the kind of critical person I am talking about.

I am also not talking about those who have something to say, and present it in a way that other people can understand. Sometimes critiques can help us move forward, learn from our mistakes, and better ourselves.

What I cannot handle however, is those who are miserable, that have nothing but negative things to say, and that go around offering their unsolicited nastiness to the world. I CAN’T HANDLE IT.

I happened to be on one of the forums on Amazon, and someone who wrote a review for one of my books had accidentally posted in the wrong forum about my book. She wanted to see if any other members had purchased the book, and wanted to talk about it. She enjoyed the book, and posted her opinions in that forum. Well, some inconsiderate individual attacked her presence there, my character, and my book.

He called my book an obscure – overpriced – indie title, and he made several subliminal comments to hint that I somehow paid the girl to go on there and hype my book up.

I CAN’T HANDLE that kind of negative, ignorant behavior.

First off, I am not the kind of person that would want someone’s “paid response” as a book review. That is ridiculous. I would much rather have the person have a genuine interest in the story that I wrote and actually go on to explain to others how much they loved my book.

My biggest pet peeve with the entire conversation was that the guy DIDN’T EVEN READ MY BOOK. He at most, skimmed over the synopsis, checked out the price, the description didn’t fit what kind of novels he was into, and then he went off on the poor lady – for no reason whatsoever. How can you have an opinion about something – that you never even read?

Let me tell you something, I am a sensitive person, and I know that you have to have pretty tough skin to be in any kind of artistry. There will be people who disagree with you for no reason whatsoever. There will be people that try to drag your name through the mud, and bring you down. I understand that people just want something to comment on, and people are well within their rights to say what they feel. I get it.

But to attack a self-published Indie author, as if they are the scum of the publishing world is unacceptable. He didn’t form his critique based on visiting my website, reading my book, or even knowing me personally. He just saw an opportunity to release his frustration (probably with life in general) out on a woman who was just in the wrong place at a very wrong time. I felt so bad for that lady. I almost lost it, but I calmed down, and I didn’t even respond. The reason why is because it really wasn’t worth my time to try and explain to that man all the hard work that I have put into developing my writing, the countless hours I spent researching, the countless hours I spent editing, and all the other work that I put into writing that book – and all of my books.

Everyone starts somewhere. I don’t care who you are. You had help along the way, and also there was a time when even the biggest names in publishing didn’t have the resources that they needed to support their overall craft. Everyone starts somewhere. 

My point with writing all of this is to say, “be mindful of what you say about or to other people”. Before you write that critical post or judge someone, just remember that everyone does not have the same resources as you do, everyone does not have the same level of education as you do, everyone does not have the same support as you do, but everyone does have a right to express their artistry. Everyone is at different levels in the game.

People are certainly within their rights to comment on the work that we artists make public – I understand. That is why I’ve had to learn to kind of take all criticism lightly.

Just think twice before posting something critical about another person’s art. Maybe that person is really trying their hardest with the resources they have. Their artistry is their perception of the world and their experiences – sometimes we just don’t understand where others are coming from.

So ask yourself these questions before you post something critical: Is the comment that you are going to post helpful to the development of the person? Is the comment you are going to post relevant to the person’s overall achievements? Do you really know who the person is? Do you know how much time, work, and dedication they put into everything they do? Could it be possible that you just may not resonate with their work, and it may not be grounds to criticism them?

That is all I am saying – just think before you speak. Words do have power. Be careful how you use them. The guy went on to say several other things and would not let up on the lady. That is why it infuriated me so much. Even after she apologized several times for posting in the wrong forum, the guy kept on about her and my book.

The truth is… his comments hurt me.

It felt like all of the hard work that I had put into writing that novel went right out the door with just a few words by a very disgruntled man. I know that his comments can’t really do anything to me, but just to hear someone say those things and not even know you or your work is really disheartening.

How about you… has anyone ever criticized your work without adequate evidence to support their claims?

Do you have anything that you would like to confess for Truth Be Told Tuesday? If so, go to the top of the post and click “leave a comment” to share your story. If you prefer to post your response on your own blog, just add the words “Truth Be Told Tuesday” somewhere in your post and link back to this article.

I look forward to hearing your response.

finished-heart Nay

Day 5: Living From The Heart

Day 5

Starting It Off

Living from the heart means being honest. Honest about your feelings, your experiences, and what you are going through. When I started this challenge I in no way shape or form thought that I was going to be 100% positive all of the time. It’s just not possible. Instead, I know that I am going to make mistakes, fall back into old patterns, and probably throw a couple of things out of frustration.

The whole point of this process is not to be perfect. It’s to learn to channel my emotions into a direction that is better for me and those around me. If I can learn to get some kind of grip on my emotions – then and only then – will I be able to express genuinely and in way that people connect with.

With That Said

I want to share something with you. I shed a few tears as I was writing this letter to Hannah Brencher – creator of moreloveletters.com. I got to the point today where I was just tired of being unseen and unheard. I wrote a letter being brutally honest about what I am going through. I am sure Hannah has a bunch of letters to look through, and I am not even sure that she will get mine, but I had to do something to reach out for some help.

Here is the letter that I wrote to Hannah. It is the letter in its entirety. I don’t like spelling mistakes so I did correct a couple of the things that I spelled wrong in the letter, but the rest of the letter is exactly what I wrote to her. I am sharing this with you because it’s the truth.

I welcome your comments and feedback.

I am just at a point in my life where I am trying to reinvent and break new ground while battling some very strong demons that are holding me back. So here it is.

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Letter To Hannah

Dear Hannah,

I know you must be inundated with requests from people all over the world who want to hear some words from your loving heart. I am one of those people. I can only hope that somehow through the bundle of emails you receive, my heart connects with yours and you find time enough to send a reply. No matter how short or how long – I appreciate it. 

I don’t know where to begin. I guess I will start by saying my life feels like a mess for no one particular reason at all. The heaviest things on my heart right now are the inability to find my place in this world and  feeling like a failure. 

Almost 3 years ago I quit my job. It was a secure position with great benefits and I was working my way up the ladder to really make a difference in that financial institution. There, they always considered me a team leader, even though I often shied away from the role. One day after being told again at my job that I was too quiet, something hit me – why couldn’t I just be me. The one behind the scenes that gave the members the kind of dedication and service they deserved. The one whose value didn’t show in the selling of products, but in the customers who called back and said, “I’ve never been treated so properly in all of my life.” 

Instead my sales numbers were too low. I was constantly scolded for it and for not taking the position as a team leader. I wasn’t selling enough and the way I chose to involve myself with the group wasn’t good enough either. Everyone use to come to me for help, like I was the manager, but because I wasn’t loud, boisterous, and outspoken like some of my other colleagues, my other skills went unnoticed. I winded up being late often and my performance started slipping because I was miserable. So I quit. Not to spite them, but so that I would no longer be a burden to that company with my foul mood and insecurities. 

I must say that decision was one of the worst and the best decisions I ever made in my life. The worst because I lost my financial freedom. The best because I actually had time to focus on my writing. I love to write. I love to express. No matter how raw, dirty, or enormously loving it may be. There is something about forming words into a story that just has my heart.

The weight of my bills piling up is too heavy to bear. I am a rather morally responsible individual and it’s killing me not to be able to fulfill the promise that I made to the people who loaned me credit and expect me to keep that promise. 

When I try to go back into the job market I feel like it tears me apart. I tasted the freedom and now I feel like I can’t go back. But I feel like some part of me can’t move forward in my fullest expression until I mend something. The part that feels like I betrayed my co-workers, my family, my tradition, and my obligations. The truth is, no matter how hard I try I just don’t fit into the corporate life. I would love to make a living writing, but I can’t seem to connect with people in the way that I really would like to. I try, I pour my heart out, and try to remain genuine. But there is a demon that keeps whispering to me… you’ll never make it, this isn’t God’s calling for you, you’ll never win, your not living genuinely. I am stuck in the deepest darkest part of my soul. Stretching and reaching out for help, and the help is no where to be found. 

I’ve felt God before, but for some reason since I quit my job I feel like God left me a little bit. I know that’s not true, but I feel locked out of God’s heart. Even though I try so hard to find my way back home. 

I am not sure what you can say, but I know the feeling you get when you don’t know what to say at first, but then the right words just come to you. I am not asking you to fix my life. I am just reaching out for that connection that I know is there regardless of what my demons are whispering to me. I know it just takes a different perspective and your whole life can change. I’m just asking for your perspective. 

Love Renee

Sign

That was as honest as it gets.

Everyone goes through things. I just think that we need some help along the way. I am not perfect and I make mistakes, but I am trying to fix them to make my life better.

I welcome your feedback.

finished-heart Nay

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