Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bamboozled

It never ceases to amaze me how thin-skinned I can be. I recall vividly how things had the potential to bother me when I was in my twenties…and how I longed for that magic level of maturity when people’s opinions would no longer matter to me.


I’m still waiting.


Worse yet is the fact that my profession of choice is writing…a vocation where one is judged as either wildly successful or a dismal failure based primarily on other people’s opinions.


Oh, joy.


It’s an interesting choice of profession, when you think about it. You’re (we’re) in that formidable grey area, where talent is oh-so-very subjective…not a glimmer of black and white to be seen. No write or wrong answers here. (Pun and typo intended) Many a time, even the authors themselves are surprised by the response (or lack thereof) they may receive (or not) on a specific piece. Besides…no-one can hit one out of the park every single time, right? We all have our off-days…feeling off-kilter….perpetually off-balance.


It’s no wonder that writers, as a group, can be a decidedly insecure bunch. Being above-the-norm on sensitivity is probably part of what gives us our creative edge…and yet, it’s that very same advantage that leaves us emotionally vulnerable.


I’m still often blindsided by how easily others can psychologically unbalance me…and unfortunately, part of writing in this venue is opening oneself up to possible disappointment. It’s the downside of putting yourself out there, I suppose.


With this said, I want to make something clear: To every one of you who has taken the time to read my (often directionally-challenged) thoughts…and especially to those who have taken the time, energy and thought to comment, I adore you….I appreciate you…I’m grateful for you. I’m one of the lucky few to hit the internet equivalent of the blog-lottery… and have “met” some of the sweetest, kindest, smartest, most talented writers I could have ever hoped to “meet”.


I can’t begin to express the combination of glee I feel when I see new comments awaiting me…and the frustration I experience when I realize that “real life” as it were, has to take priority. Especially when “real life” oftentimes sucks…and you guys…well…., don’t.


I know….high praise. You’re welcome.


This post is my long-winded way of saying thank you. For reading…for commenting…for giving a damn about what I have to say. For not getting all uptight and judgmental if I’m slow at reciprocating the love. It’s not deliberate …and there’s no disrespect intended…ever.


I’m thankful to those of you who respect me for who I am….those of you who place no expectations where none should be…and those who understand that when given the choice between wounding someone with my words or going for the smile, for me…it’s a no-brainer.


I’m stepping down now...and I’m moving on.


Gavin said...

You're very welcome, Kathryn. (: You're very good at what you do. I admire you a lot. So thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. (:

Gigi said...

Awwww - did you just call me a writer?? I'm touched.

Kathryn - I know what you mean about thin-skin, and keeping quiet so as not to wound. (Which for me can be hard; because the itch to retaliate is always there....)

I love your posts - REALLY. I love to hear what you have to say and am proud to call myself a follower.

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Aw Kathryn we love you!!
And you are sooo talented!

f8hasit said...

Darlin'...your the best!
:-)

Gigi said...

Oh and by the way, that magic level of maturity?? I don't think that happens until we are like 90. Because I've been waiting for it forever.....

Kimberly said...

Aw shucks! Thanks Kathryn!

I always read even though I may not always comment. Sometimes I just have nothing to add or, as you said, life gets in the way and I'm reading on the run.

Keep writing! I'll keep reading!

WannabeVirginia W. said...

Whew, you had me going there, I thought you were leaving the interwebs. That would be very sad.

I love reading your writing and guess what, you were there when I first started getting my feet wet in the blogosphere. You taught me how to do the linky linky ;)

Heather said...

Sounded like you were leaving us to move on to other things, I hope that is not so. I was just bragging about you on my post.

You are a great writer and it was a great day when I found your blog!

Dreamfarm Girl said...

I always look forward to a new Inside Out post. You have a captivatingly comical voice. It's no wonder you have all those fans! Plus you always leave great comments on my blog. Your blog has led me to a lot of others that I follow, and I have gotten some followers from you. so I think you are like the fairy godmother of blogland. even though I'm pretty sure you are younger than me. : )

Fierce said...

Hey, ya can't please everybody. I've learnt that the trick is to try and please the people who's opinion matters to you. Everybody else can take their judgment elsewhere cuz here it's considered an EPIC FAIL (hey I used it again, twice in one day too). Happy writing Kathryn!

:)
xoxo

Collette said...

You are awesome! The only person we should write for is ourself. If we love what we write, then those that care & respect us will support it, whether or not they agree with it.
But, I love your blog cuz sometimes it's psycho like me:) (((HUGS)))

Alicia said...

Wow, I'm with a few of your other readers in being fearful this means good-bye. I sure hope not Kathryn.

I love your blog and I too look forward every single day to reading you. You make me feel like I'm right there with you in all your adventures whether they be driving along posting post-its everywhere with brilliant ideas that we can't read later on; or falling down the stairs with you.

I read a lot of blogs, most of them I visit just for the pictures and I could leave or take the writing...but you my bloggie friend are a magician with words and I appreciate so much the joy you bring into my sometimes mundane life.

There, that's all I have to say. I'm gonna go now. Cya!

Lauren said...

Kathryn! You know what, you're awesome. There you go. I don't think there are many people in the Blog world who would disagree with me. Because how many of our blogs do you bring your happy comments to? Yeah. I think that's all that needs to be said. So remember that next time you're having a bad day. Lauren has spoken with her non-existent authority.

KellyGrrl said...

Aww... I love your blog. It cracks me up :-) And I appreciate having the blogs I love to read each day probably almost as much as you appreciate comments :-)

BlackLOG said...

I hope I have got this wrong (being male this is my specialist subject) and this is not a blog resignation speech. If it is I will be sad but since I have really enjoyed your writing, wit and your generosity to other bloggers (I don’t count myself as a writer, other than I type words - occasionally even spelling them correctly and on even odder occasions in the right context) I want to extend to you my thanks, you are clearly an inspiration to many writers ….If I’m wrong please ignore this and carry on while I shuffle out of the back door and lets pretend we never had this writovation …..(not sure why alarm bells didn’t sound all over this with spellchecker going off like fireworks on the 5th November (you would say 4th July) with what I thought was a made up word. I’ve either broken spellchecker again or I’m not as creative as I though I was).

Tina said...

Kathryn, you're writing down my thoughts again. I have a big issue with people who hurt when they could just hold their tongues. I don't understand it. Constructive criticism is one thing, but why, oh why, do people say mean things for no reason? Then if you complain they say 'I'm just telling the truth' or 'don't be so sensitive.' Arrggghhh!!! People! Anyway, neither you nor I are perfect, but we're good and fine and that's ok.
Tina xx

Chrissy said...

How well said,my friend! xoxo

Krista said...

Kathryn,

Thank you for so much. You've been such a kind friend to me in my wee, baby blogger days.

It sounds like you are moving on from blogging, or at least from this blog. I wish you the very best in whatever endeavor you decide to challenge next. Keep in touch if you so desire - you've got my email and of course my blog addy. :o) Take good care!

xoxo

*G*R*U*N*T*I*L*D*A* said...

Kathryn...you've got some of the most positive vibes I've ever seen out there on the internet. The internet can be a terrible wasteland of people that either don't get you, don't like you or are very apathetic, but you are really a lovely exception to the norm. You always find something positive to say and your writing has so much to offer your readers that it is a real and entertaining treat to read everything you write.

If you've extended your writing to the offline community by submitting for publication... you should meet with positive results. I find your writing style very very warm and engaging - an obvious reflection of the person behind the writing.

ValleyWriter said...

Like others, I sure hope this isn't a blog resignation speech. I look forward to reading you each morning - don't leave me!!! (But if you do, I understand - 'cause life happens sometimes. I just hope you'll be back one day!)

TAG said...

Kathryn,

I have not been reading your blog very long. (Hand full of posts to this point.)

What little I have read is interesting.

Now, I hope you can stand a little well intended advice.

First, there is only one real reason to write. There is only one real reason any true professional does what they do.

Recently I was speaking at a convention for my chosen profession when someone mentioned what we do and why we do it. I loved the response one gentleman gave.

"This is not what I do. This is who I am."

That is your one real reason to write. Do so not because it is something you do for a living but because it is who you are.

Viewed in that light, you'll find the voices of critics are easy to ignore.

Keep in mind though the difference between a critic and a mentor.

A critic will tear you down for the joy of doing so. A critic doesn't really care about you or your eventual success. A critic can and will be harsh for all the wrong reasons.

A mentor will help you understand your weaknesses and will help you improve. A mentor will pat you on the back when you do a good job and kick you in the backside when you don't do so well. A mentor will stick with you good times and bad.

Now, get out there and write for the love of it. Write because it is who you are, not because it is something you do to put food on the table.

TAG

Spot said...

Ditto what Tag said. He said it so much better than my addled brain could have this morning.

I know you were very hurt recently by someone you considered a friend. And their defection was for no good reason! Trust me when I say that it's their loss, not yours. Their overreaction, not your gessture. I'm more than happy to call you mentor!

♥Spot

Tinkerschnitzel said...

Kathryn, first of all, if you are leaving, give me a chance to get down on my knees and beg you not to leave! If you aren't, then I'm very happy. :) Either way, I love your posts. You keep me entertained with your creativity, and as weird as I am, have never really been able to put in words myself.

Alyssa said...

Hey Kathryn,
It totally sucks when a friend turns on you (wish I could have put that more articulately, but see above for some way more awesome comments) but I love this blog and I know a bunch of other people do too (again, see above :) ) so I hope you don't let this bug you too much because you're awesome (and being that I am in my 20's I need you to keep posting bits of advice like stop waiting to get mature and don't attempt to leave the house in the middle of a 6 blizzard streak)

Alyssa :)

dailyseeking said...

I should thank you; your blog has brought me laughter; and at times some good reflections. You are extremely talented in what you do!

lifelove'n'wine said...

Thank YOU for being such a great blogger! I always get excited when I see a new post from you in my Reader, and when I see a new comment from you on my blog. You are the best, Kathryn, and my blogging experience would not be nearly as good without you.

Slamdunk said...

Good post and not long-winded at all.

I think writers have a right to be insecure. They pour their heart and soul into a product, and unlike a sports team, band of musicians, or corporate sales group, they are judged individually rather than having safety in numbers.

JennyMac said...

Love the post and applaud your skills. I have enjoyed reading your posts so much and your comments on my blog. You have a talent and a great sense of humor.

Except the part of the post that you are moving on? Good for you and I hope you follow your heart with your writing. That being said, say it is not so!!!!! :) Thats my selfish part talking.

Adele said...

Aww, you're welcome. By the way, the only profession that I think I could choose someday is also being a writer...so, your post got me thinking...noooot, who am I kidding. I don't imagine myself working nine-to-five someday :D
Anyway, you probably know that already, but you ARE an exellent writer...so, don't let the haters bring you down ;)

P.S. About my blog: I found one gadget that's working, but it has a bit funny idea about Estonian grammar, so it's not the most effective translator...but at least you can try :)

KT said...

OMgosh Kathryn, exactly what you're writing is what I've been feeling. Well, a part of what your wrote:
"Being above-the-norm on sensitivity is probably part of what gives us our creative edge…and yet, it’s that very same advantage that leaves us emotionally vulnerable."

I sometimes hate that I'm so sensitive to everyone and practically everything around me. But like you sed, if I weren't this...this emotional than i wouldn't be able to write the poems i write or the short stories (that i've never shared with you all) either.
Sometimes, though, you gotta wonder: Did writing choose us or did we choose the writing?
Because I gotta say, I've always been this sensitive and the best outlet for me was to write it down in a journal.
But THANK YOU! Kathryn for always writing and commenting back, even if it does take you forever.

carissa said...

I read this the other day but haven't got a chance to comment yet! In fact I've been bad at commenting lately bc i got in trouble at work. But Im still reading in my reader! I heart you Katherine and you are appreciated as well. I ALWAYS look forward to reading your posts!

Jen said...

You are doing a great job and consistently hitting them out of the park. Sorry I'm not here for every post. It's all I can do to get one of my own up from time to time. Keep writing and sharing the gift. It makes a lot of us smile.
Also, got your message. I've got laryngitis and have been keeping my voice under wraps. If only I could say the same thing about the contestants on American Idol

uo-chan said...

wow O.O you think alot of us but where just your followers nothing more well because you rock well you post better then me at least and ive been on here for almost a year now sence october thanks for thinking so much of US ^^

Christopher said...

We adore you too! I love it when a little email pops up saying I got a comment. It's so strangely addictive.

HT said...

I came upon your site today. I read your "Welcome" message and I laughed. I read your post today and I was sold. I'm a new follower and am looking forward to reading more!!

I also tend to be a little thin skinned. So, don't feel alone.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Aww Kathryn-if all the writers on the Internet could give you one, exactly, spot on compliment about your wit, maturiry, or just how lovable you are, then it still wouldn't be enough.

You shouldn't be thanking us for reading-we should be thanking you for writing.

I know this sounds a little strange, especially since we know each other only over the Internet, but in you, I found my first friend, and the main reason I love blogging so much.

Thank you.

kathryn said...

Gavin: Well, the feeling it quite mutual, sweetie. Of all the blogs....in all the operating systems....(you know where I'm going with this, right?)

Gigi: You are so sweet...thank you so much! We writers are in a unique situation...we could use our soapboxes for retaliation, right? And it's so hard not to...but alas...I think we have a responsibility to take the high road.

Maureen@IslandRoar: Aw...right back at-cha, sweets! You KNOW I love ya!

Wendy Blum said...

Thank you for the compliment =) You know I feel the exact same when you, and everyone else, takes time to read/respond to my blogs.
Honestly, I never thought that people would want to read what I wrote here. Only I wish I could write it as wonderfully as you have here. I am glad I "met" you here, too, Kathryn =)

Jerry said...

I don't know what happened, but I do know that hurtful comments hurt.

But it may be that is one of the reasons I adore you like I do. Yes, perhaps you are sensitive -- but that means that you feel and explore life and then turn around and write about those feelings and explorations. So yep -- there is a down side that hurts, but the upside is so tremendously wonderful that there can really be no comparison. That upside is you. Here.

uo-chan said...

read my latest post it may shock you but i think if i injoy it in japan i might do this going away in a day and friend is coming today and big going away dinner tonight wont be on today until late just to let you know and yes you are a role model for me you inspire me to keep writing my posts ^_^

kathryn said...

f8hasit: Aw. Right back at-cha, sweetie!

Gigi: I think you're right! Maybe there's no such thing as "maturity"...maybe it's all an illusion...?

Kimberly: Well, thanks so much for taking the time to comment, doll! I know how crazy-busy life can be. I appreciate the shout-out.

kathryn said...

WannabeVirginiaW: I did? I taught you the linky-dinky? Gosh, that was very thoughtful of me. I know a good fellow blogger when I see one!

Heather: Oh, honey! I saw that post. You are so sweet for mentioning me. I love your place, too!

Dreamfarm Girl: HA! I LIKE the idea of being a fairy Godmother...(yikes! I almost wrote "hairy Godmother")

kathryn said...

Fierce: Yeah...I totally agree! And I love the EPIC FAIL line....but I have a mental block and keep remembering it as "MAJOR" instead of "EPIC". What's up with that??

Collette: HA! We psychos have to stick together! I have no problem with that!

Alicia: Wow...that was a beautiful comment, sweetie. I am touched...and honored...and grateful. I feel the same way about you....honestly.

kathryn said...

Lauren: Aw. You've got a'plenty of authority, girlfriend. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, or they'll have to deal with ME. (And I've had enough for this year!)

KellyGrrl: Thank you, sweetie. I feel the same way about all of you. It's an absolute pleasure to share my "world" with you.

BlackLOG: Wow. For a guy, you're pretty well-versed. I mean, you said "I will be sad." You got...like, all sentimental on me.
I'm touched. Even moreso in thinking that you broke spellcheck making up the word "writovation".

kathryn said...

Tina: Thank you, Tina. You're right, of course. It's the whole "blindsiding" thing that frustrates me. I'm honest and upfront....if others are the same, then I shouldn't be so caught off guard by their behavior. Grrrrr.

Chrissy: Thanks, sweetie. I know you understand.

SMOOG: As we've emailed...I'm not going anywhere. But thanks for the well-wishes...I'll keep 'em for later!

kathryn said...

GRUNTILDA: Wow! What an incredibly lovely comment...thank you so much! I hope you realize how much your words mean to me...they really do.

ValleyWriter: I'm still here (as you well know by now). Now, if I can just get caught up, I'll feel truly back to "normal". (Whatever that is)

TAG: Wow. This was just.....wow. (Oh, very articulate response, Kathryn....way. to. sound. like. a. writer.) I love your explanation of a critic versus a mentor...I've a feeling that one will stay with me always. And yes, I genuinely, totally, honestly and truly LOVE to write. There isn't an ounce of labor to it. Thank you so much for this lovely, thought-provoking post.

kathryn said...

Spot: Thank you so much for this lovely comment, sweetie. I know we've talked about this...and I so appreciate you're reminding me that there's nothing to do but move on.

Tinkerschnitzel: Aw. You do an excellent job of expressing yourself, honey. Don't you EVA sell yourself short! Thank you so much for the shout-out. It means a LOT.

Alyssa: Wow...I'd no idea I was so wise! Thank you for the lovely comment and reminding me that there's WAY more GOOD out there than BAD. Got it!

kathryn said...

DailySeeking: Thank you, sweetie. I enjoy reading your posts as well. But you knew that, right??

lifelove'n'wine: Aw...right back at-cha, sweetie! Always & forever...I'm honored to have known you and read you!

Slamdunk: Wow...you are SPOT-ON with this comment! I'd never really thought of it that way, but you're so right....there IS a safety in numbers...we're just hanging alone out there in the breeze. Thanks so much for the comment.

kathryn said...

JennyMac: Well, the selfish part had an instinct, now...didn't it? I love your place as well, J. I'm glad I found you!

Adele: Well, I'll definitely give the translator a try. I do hope it works...it's always frustrating when I can't send some love back your way.
Thank you for the lovely comment! **I CANNOT figure out how to translate your page! Any advice? Email me!

KT: I'm sorry I'm so slow at responding! But it's really not on purpose...I'm just trying to make sure I spend enough time with everyone. In answer to your question? I think it's both...we choose it because it's already inherent in us. We may as well take advantage of something that we enjoy immensely, right?

kathryn said...

carissa: Honey, don't you worry about a thing! Blogging is NOT worth getting in trouble at work!! I've been horrible at commenting too, lately. It's sometimes a tough balancing act....and I work from home, so I have no excuse. It'll all work itself out, sooner or later.

Jen: Oh! I'm sorry to hear you haven't been well, sweetie. I was just touching base is all. We'll catch up when you're feeling better. I appreciate the kind words...and you know I feel the same way about you.

uo-chan: Of course I think a lot of you! How could I not? We're loyal to each other! Right??

Christopher: I know...comments are our validation. I'm convinced of it...how else would we know that anyone is even reading us?

kathryn said...

HT: Welcome! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back to this...I'm all over the place lately. I'm glad you're here...and I appreciate the words of encouragement. Now, I'm off to say hello at your place!

kathryn said...

Oddyoddyo13: Aww, Dani! This is the sweetest thing you've ever said to me! It doesn't sound strange at all...it sounds lovely...and sweet and remarkable. I am SO GLAD we've "met"...and you know I look forward to many years of friendship with you.

Wendy Blum: Honey, you're better than you realize. You need to realize that. We're all so small in this huge Blogworld...it's really a wonder that we found each other...but I'm so glad we did.

Jerry: And YOU, my friend....have reminded me of what really matters. How can I NOT feel completely appreciated when I read this eloquent comment? You've managed to wipe all negativity from my thoughts...and for that, I am truly grateful.

Jenny said...

I'll share my mac n cheese pizza with you if you want. :) Hugs.

kathryn said...

Jenny: Aw....that will totally do the trick, sweetie! Thank you...

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