I got a lengthy note from someone who “was a fan” and “was rooting” for me who has flounced from reading this Lil blog, and anything else I might write because they are uncomfortable with how I talk about some of the less shiny aspects of my writing and creative life.
Namely, my last finances post as well as my ongoing fundraiser to get to AWP16 drove them away. From what this reader said essentially the way I talk about the financial and other difficult things that impact my creative life made them feel guilty and bad.
So here’s the thing folks.
First thing is I am done putting up a front. On so many levels in my life. I spent a lot of years feeling shame for being human. There are a lot of things behind that, but the fact is, I just do not want to do that anymore. I’m too good at compartmentalizing things. I can smile and look pretty while I feel like I want to die, I am good at that. I am good at appearing to be A Strong Black Woman that don’t need nobody.
Fact is I’m not.
Because I have started to really invest in my own humanity through my work, how I live etc part of that is not gonna be pretty.
And I will not hide it or not write about it because it makes some folks uncomfortable.
That brings me to the second thing. When you know, either personally or as a voyeur watching things happen in blogland here, someone like me who leads a not shiny perfect life, you’re gonna be uncomfortable. There are lots of reasons why this can be, these are intersectional type things.
The third thing is that I am not opening up about these things to elicit sympathy or squeeze money out of folks. Yes, I am fundraising because I do need the help to attend something I feel is important to me. Yes, I take donations. Yes, I do have conflicting feelings about these things because, like a lot of poor folks I have had trouble shedding the idea that I just don’t work hard enough to deserve stuff.
Part of how I work through this stuff is by being open about it and finding out that I’m not alone. Solidarity is like that. It is also pretty important to me that I can maybe impact someone who needs that solidarity.
Here’s the thing.
Knowing or watching a life that isn’t yours and that is wildly different from yours is valuable. For folks who are like me, me talking about this stuff is valuable.
It’s okay to be uncomfortable.
It’s fine if you don’t have/can’t/don’t want to give me money.
What’s not okay is trying to shame me because you are uncomfortable.
By the way person who sent the message I do see that you’re still subscribed. Pro tip: don’t send people passive aggressive notes threatening to unfollow and just GTFO.
Other thing before I go.
I am fully aware that my work and who I am as a person is not for everybody. I know. It’s fine. A lot of folks hate every word that comes out of my mouth and there is nothing I can really do about that beyond not speaking or writing or changing who I am and that ain’t happening.
It is fine not to dig me.
Not fine to bother me about it.
You, do you Booboo, Imma do me and everything is gonna be okay.
Now this week on Weds. I’m posting a new promo post so if you have things to promote, no matter what it is leave a link in the comments and you’re in. Boom. Have a friend with a thing? Show me the thing. Proud of a picture you took? Show me the thing.
SHOW ME THE THINGS.