Last Updated on: September 30th, 2016
Here’s a totally relevant song to listen to while you read this post:
I have been doing some wondering lately. I’ve been wondering if I should write posts more often, or less often, or if I should write whenever I want. Now that people are actually reading my writing, I’m at a different place in my mind than I was when I first began this blog. At that time, I didn’t think anyone would really be interested in what I have to say (my depression at work). Now, I am a blogger, and people are reading and sharing some of my writing! (I love you for doing this, by the way!) I’ve also been wondering if I should do another survey. I got some very good feedback the last time I did one.
To prove that I’ve actually taken a look at the results, and have learned that the majority of you want to hear the honest-to-goodness truth about some of the things I go through, this post is one that will let you in on some of the behind-the-scenes thoughts and actions of my mind, my experiences, and my life.
First, let me tell you that I’ve lost a few blog commenters along the way. I attribute this loss to the fact that, in a fit of frustration about being treated unfairly (several months ago, when I partook in a contest), I ended up deleting quite a few of my blog posts, without being aware of the consequences. One of these consequences was that all the comments on those posts were deleted. I apologized to everyone for this, and even sent apologies directly to a few people on Facebook and via email. For whatever reason, these people have not returned to comment. Perhaps they did not forgive me, in which case, I suppose that is their problem and not mine. I just know that I did all I can to make things right, and I have not deleted any more blog posts since then! LESSON LEARNED!
Apparently, deleting posts also hurts a blog’s ratings or rankings. I’m not too sure of this; I don’t know much about this sort of thing. Furthermore, I don’t really care. But I do care about my readers, who are my commenters! And in the words of Kristen Lamb, I’m trying to Give Readers What They Want.
I’ve gained quite a few new readers and commenters, too, along the way, and I’m very happy about that! I love getting comments, and seem to take it personally when people don’t leave them. I understand that people are busy, and it’s tough to comment on everyone’s blog all the time, but I think, sometimes, that I am a very needy person when it comes to interacting with others. This is because I crave praise, which leads me to share a personal story that has impacted me in a huge way.
I think that everyone has a need to be praised for their efforts, even if they are not stupendous. I am also pretty sure that my own need stems from the lack of praise I received from my parents as a child. As the oldest of three, my parents expected me to be perfect, and to set a good example for my siblings (I have a brother who is three years younger than me, and a sister who’s four years younger).
When I was in Grade 8, I was valedictorian. I recall that year vividly, for three reasons, and the last is what impacted me the most. I remember this year because:
1. That year was the year that some of my classmates played a cruel prank on me. (A story for another time…)
2. Three girls in my class (me included) were vying for the title of Valedictorian, and the competition got a bit ugly toward the end of the year. I think I’d have died if I lost. (Not literally, of course, but figuratively…)
3. When I brought home my report card I had 99% in Math. I think that this is what cinched my win of the title I so desperately wanted. However, I recall my mom’s words to this day:
“Why wasn’t it a hundred?”
…and my face fell.
…and my jaw dropped open.
…and I nearly cried.
Yes, this is what my mom said to me.
I was as shocked as you are right now. (You are shocked, aren’t you?)
No “Way to go, Lorraine!”
No “Congratulations on you achievement!”
No “I’m proud of you!”
Nope, there was none of that.
Just: “Why wasn’t it a hundred?”
To this day, this still hurts me. I just turned 42. (Surprise! Some of you didn’t think I’m that “old”!) And yeah, I know it seems a bit ridiculous for me to still feel hurt by this incident, perhaps, but it’s true; the pain of feeling inadequate is still there, deep inside me. (Ok, maybe not so deep…)
The other day, I mentioned something to my mom that I was really excited about, which had something to do with my “accomplishments” in the last seven months of owning a computer, and all she said to me was “Does your hand ever get sore?” Meaning: from patting myself on the back…
It’s nice to know she hasn’t changed. (Yes, for all you “Sheldon Coopers” out there, that was sarcasm. I love The Big Bang Theory, by the way!)
Anyways, that’s my rant for the day. Sort of.
From viewing the flag counter I have on my blog, I see that most of my visitors are from the good old USofA (United States of America, or USA). Interesting, considering I am Canadian. I think that is proof that I should be writing for an American audience. Hmm. It’s nice to have great neighbours! 🙂
Now, since I’m fluctuating between positivity and negativity (or is this in my mind only?) I want to say thanks to everyone who has ever read my blog posts, and to those sweet, kind, supportive readers who leave me comments. You honestly don’t know how much I value them. Sometimes, it may not seem like it, when I leave short replies, but, believe me, I really, truly do.
When I guest posted on Hunger for Happiness, I received a lot of support, evidenced in the comments that were left for me. I loved the amount of praise and encouragement I got. It totally made my week!
I just wish that these good feelings would last. I sometimes seem to fall into depression quite easily, but put on a false bravado for everyone to see. I’m not convinced I’m bipolar, but I know I have had problems in the past with major depression, and suicidal thoughts.
I think that my biggest problem is that I still crave praise from my parents and I know in my heart that I’ll just never get it. It doesn’t seem to matter WHAT I do; they are who they are and there’s nothing I can do about that…
As a writer, this is really frustrating, since it takes a long time to get recognized. This is especially true for people like me who keep putting things off, because how can you get recognized if you don’t even have a book out there yet? (Um, I have things in the works, but so far, I have not yet written a query letter. I have been too busy doing everything else.)
Ok, time for some more confessions.
If I am coming across as emotional or needy, I think – no, I know – that I am this way as a result of the fact that I recently opened up some bad memories. I didn’t do it on purpose; I was working on my book; the book about my life. The one that I keep saying I’m going to write, but never seem to find the time to do. (I’m a big procrastinator when it comes to certain things, and sometimes when I say that things are in the works, I mean that they are sitting there, waiting for me to work on them!)
I began this so-called book almost four years ago, and then my ancient computer died, and I wasn’t able to revive it. I thought I lost my writing forever. This is one of the reasons why I like to use a pen and paper!
However, I found it, finally, in one of my email inboxes, since my computer guy was able to retrieve it from my old computer. He emailed it to me, and I finally opened it, and worked on it.
So far, I have two chapters written. I have been working on it the last two days. These chapters cover the topics of the first time I was raped and the abortion I had. (The two are unrelated events; I didn’t get pregnant as a result of my rape.) These are tough topics to write about. They are even harder to live through. I know that no one is forcing me to write about my life and go through these memories, and so I have no one but myself to blame for the tumultuous feelings I am currently enduring.
I’ve been working on other things, too. I’m trying to write some blog posts (I think I have three or four that are in the queue at the moment.) I’ve also been typing my short stories and saving them to my computer. I have half of one left to enter. I don’t know what I’m going to do with them. I was considering making them into an ebook (and maybe giving it away for free) but I don’t think they are very good. I’m also considering just publishing them as blog posts. I might do this. I have to confess that I wrote them almost twenty years ago, for a high school course. I’d like to think that I’ve learned a few things since then! Also, writers are their own worst critics, too, so maybe I’m being too hard on myself. Who knows?
As you can see, the life of a writer is not filled with glamour. It’s filled with constant worry and questions. Wondering gets you nowhere, and so that is why I am appealing to you, dear reader, to let me know your thoughts.
My standards are so high that I disappoint myself if I’m not perfect. I blame my mom, because of her high standards for me and the fact that she didn’t praise me. I don’t know if she expected too much from me or not enough. In a way, it’s kind of a catch-22 situation, since I probably wouldn’t have aspired to be “all that I can be” if she had low or no expectations.
Funny, life, and how it goes sometimes.
So, off I go, again, to open some more wounds. If anyone tries telling you that the life of a writer is glamorous, don’t believe them. It’s not. Not in my case, anyway. Of course I write about the raw truth, which is painful to re-live. Reality-based writing, so far, hasn’t been that tough for me. I am a pretty open person, and I believe in honesty. That’s one of the reasons many of you began reading my words initially – because I tell it like it is.
I truly believe that honesty is the best policy, even if it hurts. And right now, I’m hurting, both physically and mentally. On a personal note (because this post hasn’t been personal enough), I have to see a specialist about a cyst that I have on my leg that is causing me pain. My doctor has already advised me that it will have to be removed in order to alleviate my pain. Likely, that will happen sometime next month, sometime after I see the specialist on September 10th. That will be the “bad” part of September. The “good” part is that I should be hearing something about the poetry contest I entered, as some type of “short list” is to be posted on September 3rd on the website for Canada Writes. I’m definitely looking forward to that!
If I win, I’ll surely expect some praise from all of you! 🙂 Please don’t forget to check out my “moved” blog, The New and Improved Poetry Perfected on WordPress! (It’s still called Poetry Perfected, but I love the new and improved look it has! I also love the WP platform!)
Wow. It feels like this post is turning into a book… and now, seeing as how I have surpassed the 2000 word mark, I think that it’s time to end this post here. Before I go, and before you go, please try to let me know if you’d like to see me post more often or less often (or if it doesn’t matter to you). I’d really appreciate it! Also, if you have a preference as to which days are the best for you, let me know. Your choices would be Tues/Fri or Wed/Sat or Thurs/Sun if twice a week postings are fine. If you like once a week, let me know which day is the best. I realize that I won’t be able to please everyone, but I’ll see what I can do!
Thanks! Have a great day, and see you in the comment section! 🙂
Oh, and praise your children, if you have children.
They need it. Take it from me. 😉 I know.