Recently, I “boosted” a couple of my blog posts to see how they would do out in the real (haha) world.
The blogs reached (slightly) more people, and a handful “liked” and commented. Nothing earth-shattering.
Then I got it. My first critic. Only this guy skipped over any real criticism and hurled an insult. He typed “Screw you”. He typed something else after, but I was pretty hung up on the “screw you” part.
I noticed that he and I shared two common friends. Artists from two other countries. So I assumed he was an artist, which somehow lent credibility to his remarks. Then I peeked at his Facebook page and after scrolling a bit decided that he was just a bitter old man.
Then I deleted his comment.
Then I let it bother me for the rest of the day.
This morning, bundled in a blanket and sitting on my back porch to soak up some sun while Coco roamed the yard, I found some peace in the tinkling wind chimes… until a question formed in the clouds in my coffee (thank you Carly Simon).
There WAS more to his comment than the “screw you”, and it had something to do with an advertisement. Was he angry that MY blog had popped up on his page? Or was he angry at pop-up ads in general? Had he even read my blog?
I had deleted the comment without asking him why. I hadn’t even memorized the comment, his name or reached out. I assumed HE was bitter, old, crazy… whatever. And I deleted his comment on a (my) public blog. What right did I have to do that after inviting him to read, and comment on, my blog?
And what if he actually was a bitter old man? Does that mean he can’t comment? I made the choice to put myself out there. And it scared me. A lot.
I reached out to a writer friend when I first started my blog who told me that some day I would receive my first negative comment, and that it would be hard to deal with…but to not let it derail me.
I worried a lot about this day. And I think I’m going to be fine. I’ve had to wear my thicker skin lately for other reasons, and it has come in handy.
Next time I’ll let the comment ride.