Wanted: a thick skin

5 Oct

Warning: Self-indulgent blog post.

Why do I blog? A question I often ask when I’ve sat up into the wee small hours writing a post and only my husband and mother (god bless ‘em for their loyalty) read it. Bloggers are warned not to get fixated on site stats but is there anyone who doesn’t?

Over the past few days, I’ve been asking myself “Why do I blog?” in the sense of “Why do I blog when sh*t like that can happen?”. I’ve ranted so much about my little blog’s eventful week that my rant tank is empty. So I’ll cut a long story short. A well-intentioned post of mine has caused offence to a couple of people. When I say “a couple” I don’t mean any more than that, I literally mean two. (Well, there were three but one was less abusive so I don’t count them.) One word describes how I felt about the force and manner of their reaction: gobsmacked. If you feel hard done by and want three words to encompass the fact I was asked to take the post down: knocked for six.

Ricocheting between tears of sadness and tears of indignation, I could quite easily have deleted my blog and my Twitter account. Social media suicide, I guess – the fashionable, techie way to do a Reggie Perrin in the 21st century.  It struck me like a great big sledgehammer that however little visited my blog might be it is still very public property and as such I am (as is any blogger) an unwitting target for the less polite, less measured people who inhabit the blogo- and Twitterspheres.

As a sensitive type, I find it easier to express my thoughts via a blog than I do when I’m required to think on my feet face-to-face. Yes, I hide behind a screen and in doing so can invest a lot of myself in what I write. What I’ve learnt over the past week is that if I want to be a happy blogger I must get myself a thicker skin. If I blog for me and for the people who are interested in what I write then why should I care what random people who stumble across an isolated post of mine think? Easier said than done.

J. R.  Bowen (I’m presuming this isn’t Jim) says that “The cyber bully is nothing more than a coward with a gadget”.  That’s something to remember on those days when your epidermis is feeling paper-thin.  Perhaps those bullies will learn that debate is more important than trying to dictate. In the meantime I’ll be shaving my skin to make it grow back thicker. Or is that my moustache?

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9 Responses to “Wanted: a thick skin”

  1. john October 5, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    I love your blogs. Don’t stop writing

    • Crumbs & Pegs October 5, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

      Thank you! I have the epidermis of an elephant now!

  2. Pauline October 5, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

    Well said! But if growing a thicker skin means your blogs are less humorous, sensitive and literate, then please don’t! There are too many self-satisfied, arrogant and narrow minded bullies in the world and not enough Helens!

  3. Nadia king October 6, 2012 at 4:54 am #

    Great response, if you manage to develop that thick skin, can I request you blog some tips on how you got there. There are many of us sensitive types and we must not let the bullies control us. Keep on blogging, you are very talented and your sensitivity adds charm to your writing!

  4. simonsometimessays October 6, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    Echoing other folks’ comments – don’t think any more about stopping. You’re a pleasure to read.

  5. Penny October 6, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    Don’t stop Helen, I would you fantastic writing and wonderful insights.

  6. Actually Mummy October 16, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    It does feel very personal when someone criticises so strongly something which we’ve worked on so hard. They have their own motivations, and I try to believe they do it because they’re having a worse time than me in their lives…

    • Crumbs & Pegs October 16, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

      Thanks Helen – that’s one way to look at it! 🙂

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