Sunday, 22 February 2009

censure

I'm having a bit more of an internal dialogue about what to write here than I normally would.

It seems I am offending with things I write, and while I am aware that in theory this is an everyday possibility, it is somewhat more confronting when the evidence is presented to me.

I would like to say that I find it easy to dismiss criticism - after all I fully accept the right of dissent, fully expect differences of opinion, totally understand that writing a blog is inviting in anyone who wishes to have a go. I get it.

But criticism gives me pause for thought even at its wackiest. It does make me question myself and whether it is OK for me to go ahead on my merry way. Often I will decide it is, sometimes I take lessons for the future from my deliberations.

But this week for the first time I removed a post and I feel really sad about that. I feel sad because although I don't wish to offend and thus removed my post, I feel completely misunderstood.

I feel that in the context of my life as it is here, and as I live it in a community, that I haven't been given the benefit of the doubt. That the things I do and the values that I hold haven't been sufficient for my words to be taken in the best light. I feel like my intentions and motives are transparent and good, and I assume that this should provide readers cause to if not overlook my irriatations then at least tolerate them.

I have been thought badly of, and I don't think I am that person.

It is the hardest part of being in a group this behaviour modification stuff, this tolerating the way people can rub and prickle you.

So you know, I feel I am treading carefully. I am writing posts and deleting them. Trying hard not be another whiny blogger all angst ridden about the cruel world and yet not censuring myself either.

But I keep coming back to why I blog and feeling like although the path feels somewhat rocky now, it will get better. The negatives will fall away as they always do and I can get back to the big adventure.

33 comments:

sarah said...

??? I didn't see the post you removed. I like your blog because your personality seems to come through in what you write. I guess blogging can be a balance between having a personal outlet and being part of a community-- but not all blogs have to fight that battle. Some blogs are just a personal outlet purse and simple. Its your space.

Kate said...

No idea what you deleted. I really like the way you write and actually I often wish I had a way with words like you do.
I often write posts and then delete them as I am sure I will be misunderstood or I know I am not being clear, but then I think well it is my blog and I can write what I like and well if people don't like it that is fine.

thornberry said...

Suzie, I read your blog and I also have no idea what you deleted. I haven't been offended by anything. I think it is important to keep all the positive feedback in mind and keep the negative in proportion - which I understand only too well is very difficult to do. Keep on doing what you're doing! After all, it is YOUR blog.

Leonie said...

I have also been on the receiving end of criticism from people who have not understood what I have said. They have applied their own agenda to it, or taken it how they would write/say it, not how it was intended or in fact written/said. It is a sad testament to the way THEIR brain works not yours. Rather than editing your words, because this is your blog and your thoughts and that is what blogging is about, maybe make a suggestion in a separate dedicated post that those that don't agree with your post/s should maybe try looking at what's written in a different light if they think there is a problem and that if they do have a problem to have the guts to email you about it in private instead of publicly denouncing your well thought out and intentioned words thereby enabling you to clarify any points/tone in dispute. There will always be someone who doesn't agree with what we do/say but there is a time and a place and a manner in which to address it.

Melanie said...

I am as puzzled by this as I am by suggestions of negativity regarding crafting for bushfire relief. I have seen none of it, but I just can't understand why it would be anyway. Re. blogging and 'whininess', I have the same 'internal dialogue' frequently, so I understand... I think it's why I blog so infrequently! I do, however, enjoy your blogging immensely, positive or otherwise, you are always thoughtful.

Chef Messy said...

You know, I've never felt you wrote anything that was offensive. I always really enjoy your blog! Anyway, I know it can be tough wondering if what you're throwing out to the world is going to bother anyone, but I think the most important thing is to be true to who you are. Don't delete posts. Don't overedit. It is, after all, YOUR blog! If people are bothered by anything you write, they can always go elsewhere (and some people are just so oversensitive anyway!)

froginthepond said...

For the life of me, I can't figure out which post might have caused offense. And whatever offense was caused, I agree with Leoni - a discussion in private perhaps, some responsible reflection on what was said, and may be a discussion in public.

This is the sticky end of blogging - we are responsible for what say and can (and should) be held to account. But to cause offense on the basis of a difference opinion or interpretation is not the 'fault' of the blogger. If what we say and write is within legal bounds (it is not racist, sexist, incites violence or hatred and other such things) then we are under no obligation to withdraw or to apologise.

We may decide to do so; we may be concerned about the effect of our words on members of our community; we may not want to cause harm. But as that community of readers, we ought also to respect the (reasonable) views and opinions of others.

Sorry to take up so much space, Sooz, but I really enjoy your writing and I find it disturbing that you might feel constrained in what you write simply because a reader or two choose not to tolerate a difference of opinion.

Ren said...

Hey Sooz

I find reading your blog always a pleasure, you bring so much joy into my interneting life!

I think the 6 comments above mine are spot on. I agree with all of them. The world is full of all-sorts - as we all know - and all the good people you know all know you're just the coolest crafter and blogger ever!

Lots of love
Ren

Di said...

It is a rocky road, but the things we find along the way can be so exciting and rewarding.
Only that there was enough time in the world to actually engage in real discussion and conversation with everyone/anyone, to iron out misunderstandings and correct any miscommunication... I feel I have to commend you on taking the decision to remove something (I too have no idea what it was..) though- it's a tough one to make.

Terri said...

This is your blog. And, while everybody has the right to their opinion and their ideas, they are free to start their own blog and post whatever they like on it.

So, I say tell the folks who don't like your ideas that they are free to read other blogs, more in line with their opinions. And you keep writing the material that the rest of us know and love... but, that's just my opinion. :)

Oh, and I think the craft relief effort is a fabulous one, and if I were able to support anything right now, that would be on the list. I won't be a student forever, though, and if you're still working on it when I'm working again you can count on my support!

And anyone who wishes to take issue with my opinion can feel free to come to my blog and do so, because I am not as nice as Sooz and I certainly won't be deleting anything.

Janet said...

I don't think you're that person either, but I know you in person... maybe that makes a difference. Although I think even if I didn't, I still wouldn't think you're that person!

These are highly fraught times full of strong emotions and I think it's good that you've been able to keep writing, keep putting things out there. Because a lot of people (myself included) haven't. And I've really appreciated reading blogs that have kept on keeping on. So thanks for that. On the whole I think it's better to say stuff, than not say anything at all because it might be wrong.

Sorry if all that sounds a bit contradictory or if I've got it all wrong, but yeah, I know your intentions are good and well meaning. And will lead others to positive acts.

Mummy Maeg's said...

Wow, you sound very upset by this. I think you should have deleted the comments that upset you not your post. This is your space and people who feel it is acceptable to anonymously have a "dig" at you should be ashamed of themselves.

Suzy said...

I'm sad that you felt you had to delete something. I can't imagine being upset / offended by anything you write.

I agree with what others have said already, that part of what makes your blog so appealing is that you do say what you think and let some personality show through. I am sure that whoever was offended must have misunderstood you, or had their own issues. Take care x

norma said...

i didnt read anything " bad " and i read yours always. your words and crafts are amazing and an inspiration to me ,a no blogger wench . i always think when i delurk that some times i say stuff that people dont get, so i end up not saying things often , people dont know me but always think think that as a blogger you should be able to say what you like people know you quite a bit and after all if they dont like what you say they can bugger off ( nicely ) easy peasy !!! keep up all the wonderfulness please and be YOU .

Violet & Rose said...

If this has anything to do with handmade help and the great job that you are doing, then I think that is really sad.

Keep doing what you do Suzie. And don't ever have any doubts about yourself and what you do.

Jo X

craftydabbler said...

Here is one more comment to let you know I read your blog all the time, I've never been offended by anything. I'm sorry you felt you had to delete the post. Trust yourself.

Cass said...

I agree with everyone else I have never been offended with anything you have written and I love reading your blog

JustJess said...

I too love reading your blog, and have never found anything offensive. As Mummy Maeg said, maybe it's the comments that should be removed not the post? It's a fine line, posting what's true to you or posting what others want to read? In the current emotional climate, I think you are doing an incredible job. I respect the work you are putting in, and the sentiments behind it. Sending you hugs and strength.

The Toy Society said...

I hate that you feel the need to put your hand over your mouth, anytime let alone retrospectively. People should stop popping by if they don't like what they see. Get your hand off that articulate mouth now please lady!

Anonymous said...

I read your blog all the time and find you often write about things I've thought, but have never been able to articulate. I love reading your blog because it makes me feel like I'm not the only person who thinks these things. Your ideas are always so well expressed it's hard to see how anyone could misunderstand or be offended by what you write. I find you thouroughly inspiring.

Stomper Girl said...

It's impossible to never offend anyone, if you know what I mean. I say be true to yourself and trust your own judgement Suzie xx

Vonnie said...

One of the best things I was ever told when I worried about offending someone was, "Opinions are like arseholes: Everyone has one, and most of them stink." Don't let someone else's opinion make you feel like this - the comments you've attracted should at least reassure you that for every negative you're attracting you have a plethora of positives.

Keep the chin up my dear, and please don't ever feel like you have to censor yourself again x

shula said...

WTF??

sueeeus said...

I wanted to comment, to show my support, but everyone ahead of me has said it all. It's YOUR blog, and I feel sad for how you feel. (And perplexed as to what could have possibly been offensive to anyone.)

Sharon said...

Sooz - I am probably one of your older (as in age) readers and I am puzzled what may have offended someone... I don't know you personally however my description of you is if asked " what you see is what you get with sooz" infact I said that very thing when I was asked by a customer at the bookshop where I work was looking at the 'softies' book and I was telling her that you were local and taught - I don't hestitate to promote both you and your blog to those customers interested in creating... My philosphy about things is - if I don't like something on the tele or in the book I am reading I either turn if off or shut the page... Judging by the amount of comments here I would say people like your blog and comments so don't be put off by those who would argue the issue of free speech - critizing you for yours but believeing they have every right to express theirs... Keep going sooz you are on my breakfast list...

Dizzy Little Kingdom said...

Hi Suzie,

I, also, didn't see the post you removed. There's been many a time I've read a post on a blog and it agitated me; but I recognize that we are all finding our own voice and own path in, thru and around this "electronic" community. We should all give each other the benefit of the doubt. As someone once told me when I was listing off someone else's shortcomings: Remember that most people are doing the best they can, most of the time. And when they're not, lend a hand, not a sharp tongue. I love your blog and hope you stay true to who you are.

Dee

Ali said...

The only way to avoid offending anyone, ever, is not to say anything. And the world would be a much worse place if you were to do that.

I know you write from the heart and I know that it is in the right place. If sometimes your sentiments are misunderstood, it is a small price to pay for the many times that they totally hit the spot. Blog on!

lisette said...

no way jose! i don't know what you deleted but i've been checking in most days and can't remember anything even remotely controversial. keep on being yourself and the naysayers can get stuffed. i think it's dreadful that you have felt censored - you're doing a brilliant job and are a complete inspiration

and my word verification is 'fockl'!

nikkishell said...

Keep on saying it like it is Suzie, that's why we like ya!!!!! :-)

trashalou said...

hahahahaha! lisette's word ver. was 'fockl'. Hahahahahaha!


I can only echo what the others have already said but also because I have a prurient interest in these things - please repost! ;-)

kirsten said...

didn't see it but sorry that you have been on the receiving end of some grief.
too much of it about lately! the grief, i mean.
the written form can be tricky with miscommunication and misunderstanding. hope it has all been resolved satisfactorily for you both.

Anonymous said...

Offence - seldom meant, but sometimes taken nevertheless. The taking of offence is a very effective form of censorship, as it has been here. Offence is in the mind of the person who takes it, and it is basically a problem that THEY should deal with, and not you. Much of the time it isn't even what you might have said, so much as how they have translated what you said, in their heads, and related it to their life situations. So they are offended by what they themselves have made out of what you wrote - if that makes sense?
It's your blog - keep blogging!

Colleen said...

Please don't let it get you down. Sure there may be one person that got offended (I didn't see it nor do I know any details), but thats one out of your whole blogging career, right? Thems pretty good odds. ;)

Chin up tiger. For every person that has a problem with you, there's 1000 that love you to bits.

Plus, there are people that will find offense in EVERYTHING. That's just the kind of person they are. You could be Mother Teresa and they would find something to bitch about. Don't let them get you down.