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Respect in Writing is Paramount

                It
seems everywhere you look on “news” stands and tv, there is some crazy
controversy happening every three seconds. Many of us love to intrude (barring
all negative connotations) into the lives of others. Perhaps escape would be a
better word? Regardless, some of us like to focus on the worries of others
instead of those of our own. If we aren’t careful, there is a victim and bully dynamic
that quickly develops and inevitably results in the hurt feelings of some or
many. Why do I say many? 

Because the people who relate to the struggles or
challenges a person might be facing also feel targeted by a bully, even if the
bully has directed all their attacks at just one person. Furthermore, bullying
in whatever form it comes in makes everyone uncomfortable when it is in a
public forum like a school, a chat room, a blog, a workplace, etc.

                So
why talk about this on our blog? Well I am sure many people read the very personal last post by the founder of this blog. I have said time and time again
that as writers we are artists. We are in touch with our emotions often in
deeper or at least more unique ways than people who don’t share our passion.
Not only that, but often our art is how we express ourselves. It is how we
convey how we are feeling in the best way possible. 

Whether or not you agree
with deeply personal posts on a blog or not is irrelevant really. This blog in
particular is reshaping, reconstructing, and redeveloping to create forward
momentum that hopes to challenge and excite our readers. At its core however,
this blog remains the same: a blog about Living the Life of a Writer.

                It
just so happens that the founder of this blog and myself are such writers. And personal expressions on occasion are an expression of emotions yes but also a
firsthand articulation of the life of a writer. I’m sure many people could even
criticize me for this post because it may sound preachy or defensive, and to be
honest, I really do hate intolerance and ignorance. It has no place anywhere
(internet included). I am glad that the post incited so much support for my
friend if that is what she thought she needed at the time- she didn’t- she was being honest about being a lesbian, when asked by one of our readers. While I may not fully
agree with the posting or feel comfortable myself with such a grand personal
expression, I respect her as a writer and as a friend, so I stand behind her.
In case that wasn’t clear.
                Now,
one tidbit for the people reading this post for some advice or insight into the
life of a writer. We are often going to write things that are personal or that
we are going to feel exposed putting out to the public. Ten times out of ten,
there will be people who will criticize it and break it and you down. It is an
unfortunate part of your life as a writer and the nature of what we do. As
writers, we need readers, and some readers aren’t going to approve of how we
express ourselves and frankly, that’s okay. Everyone is entitled to their own
opinions and beliefs and we would NEVER want to discourage that on this blog.
Afterall, there are people out there who express themselves through critique (I
love doing it, often unapologetically). Also, many people have different belief systems that influence how they approach their own writing and the writing of others. That is to be respected as well as long as the person isn’t using their belief system as a way to break someone else down. 

                I
would just say in closing that it is important for both the critic and the
writer to be respectful. While some offense is never completely avoidable, we
have to not just respect the people involved but the art of writing itself. I
like to think of writing as a manifestation of our emotions and our deepest
thoughts open to analysis and critique but never disrespected. This is also a
nice segue into what is coming next month, and that is discussion concerning
what we can learn from other writers. 

No matter who the writer is, there is
always something to learn from them if you approach respectfully and with an
open mind. Us writers have to stick together and support each other through respectful critiques and heartfelt praise.

Peace.

12 Comments

  • Andrea

    You go Jordan! tell off those dis-respectful people. Great blog post by the way. I was the person who challenged Rebecca to write the post she did, and was hurt by the comments. But both of you are showing you are "living a life of writing" and are professional about this.

    I am sorry you both faced so many insults, but I am glad you rose above it.

  • LoyalReaderSINCE 2009

    Good for you Jordan. Keep on writing here and anywhere else. We've got your back, and we all respect you and Rebecca. I agree this was personal, but she also didn't seem to make it her focus. I've read this blog since 2009, and Rebecca tries to tell some bits about herself, and most of this didn't some as a surprise to any regular reader.

    This blog is, and always will be great. It is greater since you came on board. All the best.

  • Carrie Eckles

    Jordan, thank you so much for this beautiful post. Rebecca has been a friend of mine for many years; she's a wonderful person and I'm so glad she has a writing partner who gets her and has her back. Kudos to you, man–you are a good friend and a decent human.

    And to the anonymous trolls: brave people make comments with their real names and faces proudly on display. If you can't do that, you have no real voice. I disagree with your views and I know you're horrible people, but at least own it. Come on.

  • Damaria Senne

    Jordan, I still grappple with the unfortunate fact that my character, as a human being, is sometimes assumed to be known and is judged based on my writings. This has sometimes made me question whether to submit a personal essay to an anthology or not, and to agonise about writing or publishing certain blog posts.

    I'm mostly fine with talking about myself (except for my keen interest in fanfiction, LOl) but I find that I am very cautious about what I say about family members because:
    1. I know we will be judged, whether positiveky or negatively, it is still judgement
    2. It's not up to just me, to tell the story. Sometimes I co-own the story with other people in my life and they are not writers and while they haven't said I shouldn't write about them, I feel like I would be infringing on their privacy if I did
    3. Writing about yourself, however innocuiously, leaves me naked. Sometimes my dislike for that feeling weighs more heavily than my need to take risks as a writer.

    Rebecca, you might remember that I was very quiet on my blog for more than a year. Ironically, that's when a lot of personal stuff were happening in my life (mma had a stroke, I moved to take care of her and it was hard and ugly, but she's better now) and I chose not to blog about that period of my life, because I just felt naked.. and worse.. I would have left Mma naked too. It's a conundrum, don't you think?

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