So y’all know I’ve been doing a series of self care articles over at XOjane. You can read the most recent one here.
One of the things that has surprised me is how much pushback there’s been. Among the reasons:
- My tips about make up don’t count as self care for anybody ever.
- My budget / strategic spending tips are telling everyone to blow their rent money.
- My mention of smart budget friendly shopping is consumerist.
- I “stole” the idea from DBT (to tell y’all the truth I didn’t even know what that was until yesterday) therapy.
- I’ve been told that my responses to criticism (we’ll get to that) is passive aggressive.
- I should grow a thicker skin.
- ALL my articles are just not full of ALL the information and therefor anything I have to say is invalid.
Something I’m having a hard time with is the idea that because I’m not writing the articles in the broadest manner possible nor am I tackling ALL the issues about poorness and self care, that I’m doing it wrong, I find that tack to be exhausting.
I wonder how or if those people do that in other spheres of life? Do they comment on advice columns that don’t cover every scenerio?
Admittedly given that the same things get said on every article so far it gave me pause.
I was thinking maybe I shouldn’t talk about my poor skills, or that I should make every article involve the nitty gritty of being poor and doing self care.
Two things were pointed out to me by a friend.
First that some of these things are because people are hate reading me. They hate my writing, they hate the subject matter because I’m writing what I know/like in this case. I think when people go to hyperbole (literally saying that I’m encouraging people to buy everything and skipping the parts where I mention that these things are suggestions/stragegy) I don’t really need to listen.
Second thing is, who cares? Because really, I don’t know these people nor do they have any ream impact on me/my life.
As a writer and as I am doing this series I have made the effort to look at responses and what people ask about (unoriginal according to one commenter) and I did need to take these criticisms and think about them.
I’ve come to the conclusion that some of these folks are hate reading. I tried to engage but I realize that there’s no point because I just don’t understand that behavior. I don’t understand why if some advice isn’t for you, you’d go out of your way to be sure EVERYONE knows how much you disapprove?
As a reader I don’t get that at all.
Sure there are a lot of writers I don’t like out there. I think where I’ve had trouble is the idea of it being criticism or critique to just follow someone’s work to tell them how much you don’t like it.
It is just beyond me why that’s fun.
It’s one thing to me to say, so so’s writing is a problem for x reasons. I’m not reading it anymore.
Maybe I’m off about this.
I did feel the need to think about it though. Being that XoJane is my first regular column and the subject matter is near and dear to my heart, and shit I actually know about I took some time to really think about what I might be doing wrong.
The format has been I have a subject related to self care for poor folks and write about it.
I feel like that leaves a lot of room for everything from budgeting to buy a thing, to thinking about finding resources for things or as I’ve got coming up feeling like you deserve the thing regardless of how people treat you.
We all know I’m a thinky process queen and I realized earlier today that, well I don’t -have- to deal with that type of criticism if I don’t see the value in it. I think part of the process of writing a regular thing has been figuring out managing the line between what people ask me for and what I wanna do.
I mean after 20 years and publishing things that have garnered me death threats, rape threats, cavalcades of die nigger messages being hate read is not all that bad.
I’ve come to the conclusion that for my purposes there, I can stick to my ethos that if you don’t want/need/like it, it’s just not for you and be okay.
I also think part of my worries about how much some folks hate the series and my work in general was due in large part to my ideas about harm. I have very strong feelings about being mindful if I am doing things that are harmful in certain ways and a lot of the negative commentary has pinged that button. It’s probably not on purpose but, it has been difficult to work through so I can write.
I like to hope it’s not personal even though it really feels like it.
The series will continue until either Xojane gets tired of me or I can’t write it anymore.
In other news I’ve joined the poets at Ink Node and put my first poem up today. Find that here. I have some feelings about it but I’ll save that for another time.
Okay later this week I’m doing a big ole link round up of stuff y’all should see and I’ll have a review of the book I’m reading about Aileen Wuornos as well.
PS I have some new non fiction coming out soon and it is a doozy.