On Speaking My Mind
Earlier this month, I wrote a post about my view on parent blogging. It seems to have attracted more controversy than I was expecting, and I must admit some of the responses I saw got me down a bit.
I must point out here that the responses to that post were not only comments on my blog, but also tweets, subtweets and even the odd passive-aggressive blog post. These ranged from “if you don’t like it, don’t read it” to the full on “who are you to…” kind.
Interestingly, the positive responses I received were mostly via text or private message. People didn’t seem so keen to agree with me wholeheartedly in public, for everyone to see.
Someone did write a piece for Tots 100’s “Secret Blogger” section almost echoing what I said, but perhaps more viciously – since it was anonymous. It seems to have received the same sort of backlash as I had – only people commented on the post. They may well have subtweeted or whatever else, but I’ve not seen anything.
I wrote my post fairly quickly, as the points came to me and with little revision. Perhaps I was not diplomatic enough in my language. Either way, I got a few backs up. I was expecting it I suppose, but I do not revel in such attention. I know there are people out there who will court controversy or play the bitch (perhaps not even playing) in order to keep people coming back to read their writing, but I’m not like that. I don’t expect people to agree with everything I say, but I dislike the sort of disagreement that turns into bitchiness and unpleasantness. That response is something I should have anticipated in a post about other people’s blogs.
Last week, I wrote a post about spelling and punctuation. I have a fairly unpopular view on that; I believe if you can’t be bothered to learn correct grammar, use a spell checker and proof read, you probably should just do vlogging instead. It bothers me that there is so little attention to detail, not just in what people are publishing, but also evidently in how they have been educated. I don’t like it, and I cannot read a book or blog that lacks this attention to detail. I don’t understand why anyone would just let such things slide, and publish something that made them look like they didn’t know what they were doing.
When I wrote my post though, I found that it took me several hours. I can type fairly fast, and usually once I have the thread of an idea, it doesn’t take me more than half an hour or so to get the first draft one. The reason the post took me so long was that I was trying to re-word every sentence, so as to be more diplomatic, less controversial. Less likely to incur the wrath of barely-literate bloggers who took offence to my opinion.
I talked to a friend who has published a fair few inflammatory blog posts, as well as a couple of outbursts on Twitter. I always admire people who can just speak their minds, knowing they’re leaving themselves open to a shitstorm, and yet will still keep going. I asked if he worried about the response to his posts. His response was basically “just write it and publish it, then f*** em.” He did counsel against being deliberately provocative though.
Eventually I published the post, and didn’t receive a backlash, which was not surprising, since I’d spent several hours cutting out anything I thought might offend someone.
And then, over the weekend, apropros of not a fat lot, I gave myself a bit of a talking to. On Saturday I had a bit of a situation with S, which involved her screaming all the way around town. During the episode, I was self aware enough to see that people were walking past us and trying not to stare (they mostly failed at that one). My child was screaming, with tears streaming down her cheeks and snot all over the place. I remember thinking it was weird that I really didn’t care what anyone else thought; I just wanted to make sure my child was ok. At one point I sat on my knees on the floor in a department store, talking to her soothingly, wiping her nose, cuddling her and whatever else I could think of. We walked across town on a busy Saturday morning and I was not at all bothered whether people thought my child was having a tantrum, or had fallen over, or I’d hit her, or whatever else.
Once we got home and everything was ok, I realised how odd it was, that I hadn’t been concerned. Normally, where S is concerned, I am always worried about what people will think; the situation with the ex means that I am often paranoid that “news” such as this will get back to him and be used as “proof” that I’m a bad mother. It’s taken two and a half years, but I don’t care what gets back to him now; I don’t care what strangers in the street think.
… And if I don’t care what a stranger in the street thinks of the most important part of my life – the parenting of my child – why would I give a hoot for what people I don’t know think of my opinion? So go ahead. Tweet me. Subtweet. Write your passive-aggressive bullshit blog posts. You can even comment on my blog. But you should probably try to spell your bilious, defensive bullshit correctly.
Blimey. I didn't even think your original post - that I agreed with 100% - was that provocative, more just expressing an opinion about a topic where you have a different mindset to many of the bigger bloggers. I don't think you should ever feel that you can't speak your mind - personally, I think provocative (as long as it's not offensive) makes for interesting reading, as it draws out people's opinions. And if they can't contain their anger and construct a rational response to something written by someone they probably don't know, I think that reflects more on them than you. Tim recently posted...Silent Sunday 16/11/14
Keyboard warriors suck, there is a difference between speaking your mind and being rude. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, you and them but no one has the right to be rude and make someone feel bad. Well done for speaking your mind and don't give up. Only by being honest on your blog will you get the right kind of followers who will grow into a community and some may be friends. Those who don't agree with you can form their own little community somewhere else where they all agree with each other but they should be respectful. I'm sorry no one publically agreed with you - I do and am happy to say it online, offline wherever. Got ya back girl! Don't let it get you down just rise above it and keep writing - although don't read my blog as I often make typos that don't get corrected for weeks lol but that is me rushing and being a bit lazy rather than knowledge and I agree with you even if I don't practice it on my personal blog x x x Sadie recently posted...Body for Kids
Wow, quite a read, thanks for posting the link in 'The Blogging Mums Club' group. What a thoughtful and enjoyable read indeed. I now need to go and read your post that inspired this one. I hope my spelling and grammar is accurate. Unfortunately, some times, there are mistakes that just doesn't catch one's eyes. I'll have to tripple my posts before publishing from now. I'm just starting my blogging journey. All the best with your ex and keep speaking your mind.
Leigh - Headspace Perspective
Blimey Vicky I had no idea you'd had that sort of backlash to that post. It's unnecessary - you were just outlining your thoughts, which you're entitled t do. I've read plenty of other posts that are rude/offensive that are celebrated! It's a funny old world. Like Tim says, in any case it's the posts that provoke thought and discussion that are the most interesting. Yes, sometimes we need a bit of light hearted relief with some silliness, but surely we should be using our voices to make people think whenever we can? Glad it didn't get you down for too long xxx Leigh - Headspace Perspective recently posted...The Hunger Games – a satire on our hunger for reality TV
If I'm honest I just think people need to stop worrying or getting wound up about what other bloggers are doing. So what if all they do is reviews or competitions? It's what they want to do. So what if you don't want to do that? Each to their own I say! I try to keep a balance between the two, but sometimes it doesn't always happen. I think as long as you're enjoying what you're doing then keep it doing it regardless of what others think. Thanks for linking up to the #binkylinky Emily recently posted...Binky Linky
i admire people who don't care what others think, i over think everything and can get my self in a right tiz sometimes! #binkylinky Everything Mummy recently posted...Completely Potty Workshop
Rachel @ Parenthood Highs and Lows
Good for you! Your blog, your little corner of the web to say what you want! Rachel @ Parenthood Highs and Lows recently posted...Get Baby Out!
Interesting post. I am new to blogging and social media, but some controversial subjects have crossed my mind. I decided to by pass them for now. I think I need to feel my blogging legs better, before I start rocking the boat. #binkylinky Joanna @mumbalance recently posted...Why I Don’t Write Everyday
Whilst commenting on a post about spelling and grammar I am always terrified that I will spell something wrong. It is important to speak your mind and I recall one of the panel at Blogfest saying something along the lines of 'you are never going to please all of the people all of the time so you don't need to try'. Carry on speaking your mind. Thanks for linking up to #sundaystars
Just found your post through Sunday's stars, so obvs had to read the earlier one too. Like you, I have little time for advertorials. I recently went to blogfest and it really clarified for me that I want to write, and that's why I blog; rather than writing because I want a blog as a means of income etc. I also prefer when people are explicit about their reviews/sponsored posts. But I can see why it might have got people's backs up (although there's really no need for cyber-bitching!). I guess I wouldn't go as far as calling reviews 'filler' or saying that these kind of blogs give others a bad name. However, I am 1000% unreservedly with you on the grammar and spelling! It's a pet hate of mine too! In short, what's the point of having a blog if you don't have an opinion??? Good for you for writing honestly. That's what it's all about.
Blogging is a funny one - the blogging community seems OK and friendly until someone says something slightly controversial and then its attack! However one of the things I love most about blogging is the diversity. If we were all the same then it would be really boring! Keep doing what you do and saying what you want! Thanks for sharing with #sundaystars
Can't comment on the parent stuff as I have no children nor any knowledge about parenting, but I believe I agreed wholeheartedly with your post about punctuation and grammar! I get stick too, Vicky. Like you, I spend ages re-phrasing to be more diplomatic, yet I've still earned a reputation for 'saying the things other people think but haven't articulated/daren't say' (at best) and being a bit of a cow at worse, I suspect!!! I agree with your friend. There's too much 'vanilla' on social networking sites. Like, everyone is people pleasing so that everyone really likes them back. In my world (writing, reading, book reviewing) there is WAY too much of this. I have written a couple of posts about authors giving each other fabulous reviews all the time, even if they don't like the books, for several reasons which I won't go into here! Carry on saying what you think. At least you do so with integrity, and all the semicolons will be in the right places. :)