I spent four hours awake in bed today. I was still except for the movement of my thumb on my phone and occasional rolling of my eyes at the inevitable on Twitter. After an hour I had caught up on everything ever written by anyone I’ve ever heard of, and then the really wild reading began.
Something truly astounding happened: I found a decent writer and after 1,500 or so words I thought I knew her deal. But. Suddenly I was reading words I’d never encountered outside of my head. She shared a truth I’ve never been able to explain and then she raised her eyebrow at me as if to ask whether I was going to make her same mistake.
There was no way to thank her, so I simply continued reading, wondering what else I might encounter in this miraculous world of posts that contained actual thoughts.
Soon I was back to a familiar blog with a guest post from another stranger. It was so another lengthy person essay intended to convey a very specific message. I almost held my breath waiting for more truth to seep out. It never came. Instead, after the writer glided over her clouded memories of past obsessions, she finally tossed out a few lines completely undercutting any value in the supposed purpose in sharing her story. Dear God, please don’t let this be me in another ten years.
I don’t think I actually finished the last paragraph, though I somehow think that my eyes must have seen it all.
This is, of course, the way it is with blogging. You have know way of knowing which writer you are to me. I have no way of knowing whether my heartfelt thoughts will pour over your wounded soul like so much salt and vinegar. And yet I post because I know that “hurters gonna hurt” regardless of what I do or don’t say. Both of the women behind the posts that struck me today ultimately wrote for themselves. It is somewhat shocking that the first post helped me so much, but it is not at all surprising that the second post served simply to remind me that people are usually too selfish to really love when writing about how others should live. The truth is that if the last post hadn’t slightly offended me I simply would have kept reading until something else filled that space.
Be honest, how often do you see posts that bother you? How often would you guess that your posts hurt others?