So I learned a lesson in the last few days, one about standing up for my writing in a new way and that by trying to please everyone I pleased no one, least of all myself.
A few days ago I wrote a post I was very proud of about the commonly believed myth that weight has anything to do with finding a life partner. This is something I have been told all my life and never really believed. I see too much to argue against it everywhere I look. As I mentioned in the post, even in Hollywood we see the movie The Heat has 2 actresses, one skinny, one plus size. It is not the skinny one that is currently married.
Anyway, I used a framing device for this piece a horrible date I had been on where I was told I was fat, needed to diet and exercise in order to attract a suitable spouse. While I felt hurt I felt the piece was fair as it disclosed no personal information and it could have easily been John Doe for all anyone knew. He also had every right to write his side on his blog, get his friends to defend him. I also had given him more of my personal information than he had of me so if anything the power play was in his hand.
Nevertheless, the post sprouted a wide array of opinions- most of the positive and I will admit many of them coming on my request, as I asked for defense (my friends are the best and so loyal). There was a small minority that felt I had been a bully and unchristlike.
This was hard for me to hear because as a bullying victim I take that type of behavior very personally. I sincerely didn’t believe that was what I had done but the idea that anyone, especially one very close person, thought that was what I had done bothered me.
So, in a moment of weakness I took the post down but this didn’t feel right either. I saw the positive effect it was having and one girl even said “I needed to read this today! Thanks for posting, sometimes I feel like the only women dealing with this. You rock!” If for this woman alone I felt the information needed to be out there. What to do? Again in a weak moment I decided to edit it to not include the date and just the weight discussion. This was a much weaker post but i figured it was better than nothing.
Unfortunately when I did this the comments made no sense so I tried to change them in nominal ways, keeping their core content but a friend rightly pointed out this was censorship and not ethical. I knew it wasn’t right when I was doing it but was down the rabbit hole at that point.
Eventually I reached a status where nobody was happy with me and for good cause. Worst of all I risked alienating readers and especially hurting my friends who had come to my defense so quickly. I reluctantly decided I’d made such a mess of things that I erased the post and moved on.
I would like to apologize for this whole episode and for deleting the comments you took time to craft. My only defense is that I learned a lot from the experience. I learned to trust my voice and trust my readers who overwhelmingly agreed with me and liked the post. If I had just let it be and not worried about it everything would have blown over and been fine.
Writing is a bold endeavor and I am very proud of the fact that I have never held anything back on this blog. It is the proudest thing I do. It is the best part of my life. In a way it is my life. I need to honor my voice and writing and feel confident in what it tells me to produce. Lesson learned.
If I can end with a plea. If you were offended on either side I am sorry. Please continue read (and thank you for the nearly uniform understanding and support I have felt in the last 2 days), share, comment and ponder. I have written 720 posts over 6 years, what I conservatively estimate is 400,000 words. If one post was handled poorly please give me a second chance. I know what I have to say is important. I have no editor but I do the best I can and I believe in my voice, now more than ever.
The greatest thing we can do in life is to be true to ourselves and serve God. Sure love ya! To 400,000 more words and 6 more years. I will keep writing. Thanks! Now on to Nanowrimo!