So, it’s Day 24 of this 30-day writing challenge. I am sitting here at my kitchen table writing before my family wakes up. My mind is swirling from the events of yesterday and I’m brooding because I should be happy. But I’m not.
For those of you who haven’t missed what is essentially a neon sign on the front page of this blog, my article was published on Scary Mommy yesterday morning. You can check it out here, if you haven’t already read it:
It was the first time that I’ve had anything published on such a huge web site. I mean, this parenting website has over 1.3 million followers. So when my husband announced in the wee hours of the morning that my article was live, I FREAKED OUT.
OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG. My stomach churned. I felt like hurling, even though I hadn’t eaten anything. You’d think that I would have been happy, and a part of me was, but the overwhelming emotion was Panic. With a capital P. Nothing but panic.
I raced downstairs to my laptop, flipped it open and stared at the screen. OMG. The title is wrong. They have the wrong title. It’s reading “Being The Daughter of Foreigners” instead of “I Am The Daughter of Foreigners.” OH MY GOD, THE ARTICLE IS MESSED UP!!!! IT’S A SIGN. IT’S A VERY BAD SIGN THAT I SHOULDN’T HAVE DONE THIS. THE UNIVERSE IS TELLING ME TO PUT THE KIBASH ON THIS RIGHT NOW.
As I frantically typed an e-mail to Scary Mommy to point out this disaster, I thought, I don’t want to do this anymore. This is horrible. Even though this has been my goal for the past year, I don’t want this anymore. What if no one reads it? What if I only get 20 views and they’re from my friends? Or worse, what if people read it and they hate it? What if I get 1,000 views and only 20 LIKES? That’s WORSE. MUCH, MUCH WORSE.
Oh, MY GOD. Someone made a comment. My first comment on my first published work. AND IT’S NEGATIVE. This person told me that I should have used the word “bigot” instead of the word “racist.” I’m a writer. I should have known that. And it’s the first comment. Now anyone who goes to post a comment will see that comment first. It clearly points out my error.
I seriously just wanted to cry. I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s too hard. I can’t deal with it anymore. Let me go back to just writing for myself and to hell with putting anything I write out for people to view. I’m done with this. It hurts too much.
Fortunately, or maybe not so fortunately, a pesky little thing called parenting intervened. I had to tear myself away from the train wreck that started in the comments section to get my kids ready before dropping off my son at school. I was dying to look at my phone, but was forced to actually get things done the entire morning.
Hours later, when I returned to the computer, I was relieved to discover that there were more positive comments. In fact, as I scrolled through the comments section, I would have to say that over 95% of the comments were positive. By the end of the evening, I had received more than 1,100 “Likes” on FB. Since I was hoping to get into the 100’s, I should have been happy about it.
But I wasn’t. And I’m still not. I’m consumed by a malaise that I’m struggling to understand. There were 3-4 negative comments, two of which were ultimately deleted. If I was still in school, I should still receive an “A” for this post.
So why are the handful of negative comments bothering me? I fully expected that I would get verbally torpedoes. This piece talks about immigrants, so OF COURSE, there will be negative comments. I even planned my approach for dealing with trolls.
I think what got to me is the hatred that fairly oozed from one comment. It just makes me sad that such ugliness exists in this world. Especially when I have two small children. I want them to have a beautiful life, and how can they when such people exist?
But I’m hoping that in this world, the compassionate people outnumber the cruel people. Like on this article. Over 1,100 Likes vs. 3-4 Mean Comments. Kindness won in this chapter of my story. Hopefully, over time, kindness will win in the world’s story.