Frozen By Criticism
I have fallen off the blogging wagon hard, my friends. I never wanted to be the blogger who let weeks pass without blogging. I am not lazy or unmotivated. I have read all the wonderful “how to have a great blog” articles. I follow Tentblogger and Michael Hyatt for the Pete’s sake! What more could a blogger need, really?!
I know how important it is to stay in touch with readers. I love staying in touch with readers! So what’s the problem?
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that some changes on WordPress have thrown me for a loop and I’ve accidentally published random empty posts while on the learning curve. (In fact, that very thing just happened a few minutes ago while I was trying to write this post so… sorry about that.) But that’s not why I got stuck.
Did I run out of ideas? No. Definitely not. I’ve written numerous posts and saved them without ever publishing them.
Did I run out of time? Nope. I’m a busy person and that hasn’t changed for years. But I had time to do lots of other things I love during the past few months — everything but blogging!
Did I lose interest? Not at all. Blogging remains such a wonderful, rewarding way to reach out to people. I love it!
So what, then? You want me to be 100% truthful with you? (Don’t answer that, of course I know you do.)
The harsh truth is, I got a couple responses sent to me during the past few months that really froze me in my tracks. Not everyone agrees with everything I write, apparently! And they don’t mind sending me messages about it. I know, expect and respect that – or I say I do – but when it happened, I got stuck. I like to avoid criticism! Don’t you?
Someone I highly respect (who has WAY more readers than I have) once told me a person can almost always learn something from criticism, whether or not it was communicated well. He says behind most criticism is a grain of truth. So, assuming that advice is correct, I began to question myself. I second-guessed every post that I tried to write. And somehow I managed to talk myself out of every single blog post for two months! And while my dear friend has a great point, it was easier for me to just stop writing than to consider what I could learn from those (few, fairly benign) criticisms.
Today I can’t solve it all. But I can say that I am choosing to blog anyway. I’m admitting that my skin is not as thick as I’d like it to be and I am breaking the no-blogging streak with this confession that I temporarily hit a wall, but I am climbing over it. I have decided that, for me, blogging is worth the effort.
I’ve struggled with exactly how to hurdle this blogging angst because I truly do not want to keep anyone from responding honestly to future posts. I want people from all walks of life to feel that this is a place where we can discuss life, faith and creativity in an atmosphere of openness and kindness. I also understand there will be those who aren’t sure quite what to do with my point of view, and that’s just a reality of being around thinking people. It’s worth it. I’m confident of that fact.
Anyone else out there ever struggle with how to respond to criticism? Do you take your critics to heart or do you just move on and keep going?