As many writers know, writing can be painful but also one of the greatest joys!
Recently I was presented with a challenge of someone responding with anger and rage to words that I had written in a blog. The email I received from that individual was laced with what seemed like venomous intention. This took me aback. I read and re-read my blog to see what I had said that would call for such a response and I was stumped. The blog obviously triggered something deep inside of that person that may or may not have had anything to do with me. But what was clear (after sharing the response with several people) was that the response was disproportionate to what I wrote and the words directed to me were totally out of line. This left me with some questions.
I have been writing on and off for years. I have worked as a reporter, an editor, a researcher and a writer. Since my college years I have dreamed of being a writer (a journalist moreso) and telling the stories of the world. This early writing dream eventually expanded into wanting to write my own novel, my own screenplay and my own songs. What held me back over and over from getting serious about this and taking my writing to the next level was the fear of writing from a personal place and others judging me. In other words -- I had a fear of being exposed.
So here I am almost two decades later from the initial spark of the writing dream and I was being confronted with what I feared most -- using my voice and in return getting a negative response. In one moment I felt on the edge of being set back 20 years. In the next moment, I saw that this was coming to me as a graceful challenge to see how much I was really ready to claim my voice.
As I move forward, I am contemplating these questions..."What do I do about people who respond negatively to what I write?...Do I simply not respond so as not to engage them? Or, as a blogger, is it my place to respond to them? And... is it really okay for someone to speak to me in a disrespectful and rage-filled manner and not address it? What will be my response when someone crosses my boundary?"
What is your response when someone crosses your boundary?
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