Sunday, September 7, 2014

The First Amendment

If you are familiar with the U.S. and familiar with our rules, you 'll know right away that sitting right here and blogging the way I am is me making good use of my First Amendment rights. 

Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Expression, blah blah blah.

Oh such lucky U.S. Citizens we are, right? Yes ......... and no. 

The ability to speak freely is wonderful.  Everyone should be allowed to express their opinion.  But, within that comes judgment and criticism and gossip and repercussions.  Quite honestly, not everyone wants to hear everything that people want/need to say.  Words can hurt as badly as knives or guns.  Words sometimes cut through the thickest of skin and there may not be a visible exterior wound but, inside ... someone is bleeding out.

As a writer/author/novelist/whatever, I am setting myself up to be exposed to the public's right to free speech.  I am allowing myself to be open to criticism (constructive or otherwise) and this is something I need to learn to swallow like a bitter pill at times.  People I don't know may absolutely HATE what I wrote.  Hell, people I DO know could hate it.  This is all part and partial of the writing gig.  Deal with it, right? 

Right.

That being said, writers are emotional people.  We are artists and artists are sensitive, regardless of what an actor/singer/writer might tell you.  The toughest package often has the softest core.  We pour our souls into whatever media we choose.  I write.  I write from places inside me that people don't often see because I wear a mask of perfect contentment and happiness.  OK, I think I do anyway.  It's cracking and some of the dark light is shining through.  Anyway, my heart and soul is bled onto a page and ... it's bound to hurt if someone says something negative.

Don't get me wrong! Criticize me, please.  I want the reviews, I want the word to spread.  I need that.  I need honest opinions.  I need constructive criticism so that I may do better the next time.  I want and need that more than I let on.  I want reviews on Amazon and Shelfari and Good Reads. This is how books gain notoriety, how things travel the globe.  I need all of that.  I'm expecting bad reviews, I am hoping for good ones.  Expect the worst, hope for the best.  It's how I've always lived.  My Dad used to tell me that all the time.  Bring it on, I say!  Bring it on!

Only ... I never expected such negativity so close to home.

That is where I am struggling.  There's no comment about pride for chasing my dreams, for putting myself out there.  No uplifting remarks about what a huge step it is, what a wonderful gift I have and I should keep using it and putting it out there.  Nope.  Let's go straight to what's wrong with it.  Let's see if I can tear you down faster than you were building up the confidence to keep going. 

That's what hurts.  I feel like there's not a lot of support underneath me anymore.  The wind has effectively gone out of my sails and I am sinking faster than a brick.   I am hoping that this is only temporary and spurned on by the fact that I am EXHAUSTED.  I hope that after a good nights sleep I will awake tomorrow renewed and thinking "screw you" to those extremely close to be naysayers.  Because until recently, those words wouldn't have knocked me down so easily.  My walls are not as strong at the moment, the plaster is cracking and the sheetrock a little crumbly.  I'll sleep tonight, waking tomorrow with the full intention of cutting all the bad foods out of my diet so that my disease might go back to sleep again (it's stirring a little, I feel him) and the weight will continue to drop, and my outlook on my future will once again be as bright as the sun. 

I'm grateful to live in a country where I can say what I want, I can speak how I feel, I can go anywhere and do anything ... and I expect people to be able to say whatever to me.  I just expected a little bit more support to go along with it from certain people.  I understand their need to offer some critique, but ... a little support to go along with it would go a very long way!

I apologize for my venting, I needed to get this off my chest so that I might be able to work on project # 4 today.  I had so many ideas yesterday afternoon before I was blasted onto my ass.

Have a wonderful day everyone. 

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