Monday, 4 August 2014

#AmTwattyBlogging

     For Anonymous, with love.

     The thing I love about blogging is that I can be honest. I’m nothing like as honest or direct in real life, few people are. But here, I can say exactly how I feel. I can rant about shit writing, I can record how utterly destroyed I felt last October. I can get pretentiously wanky about Beeston Priory. I don’t have to self-censor the way we do in real life.

     Blogging has saved my sanity at times, genuinely helped to claw me back from the edge of a breakdown. Being able to articulate exactly how I feel right here, right now, channelling out the words that roar and clamour in my head, full of sound and fury. I can pour them out into this little corner of the blogosphere, send them out into the world, and watch them scatter like confetti, falling in new and unexpected places.

     I don’t write to be read. I write to speak. If people want to listen, that’s a bonus. If people want to talk to me, that’s even better. That’s what has stunned me about blogging. That there are so many people out there who are interested in what other people have to say, and that there are people whose words I love to read, whose views I’m interested in, whose opinions I value.

     Blogging has given me so much. The Harper Collins party, Blogfest, new and unexpected things in my life, things I would never have thought possible. But most of all, it has given me friends. Some of my closest friends now are people I’ve met through blogging. Some of them have even crossed over from digital, online friends to 3D, analogue ones. They’ve seen the real me as I am in this blog, and, massive amount of admiration for their bravery, they haven’t run away screaming. They should get a medal for Services to Twatty Bloggers for that alone.

     Most of all, blogging has enriched my life. The support I’ve had from people has been inspirational. I’ve gained so much confidence from the words of people who’ve taken time to read my arsing about twattiness, either here or in the concentrated world that is 140 characters of twitter.  From the outside it may seem a bit odd, a bit false. It really isn’t. As much as people care about me, so do I for them.

     I wrote that yesterday, as a response to my older version’s comments on ‘You do not speak for me’. Life, Blondies, a trip to Binham Priory, all of that got in the way.  I was ready to discard it, not really sure where I was going with this. Then a link to a blog got retweeted into my timeline, I read the blogpost, and it made me very angry indeed.

     It was a barely veiled attack on another blogger, twisting the words of a post in a tone of ‘if that’s all you’ve got to worry about…’ It was passive aggressive, it was unfair, it didn’t need to have been written the way it was. Instead of feeling sympathy for the writer, I felt angry.

     Blogging is a small community. Ok, so there are thousands of us, tens of thousands of us, but because of twitter, if someone blogs about you, it won’t be long until you get to hear about it. Trust me, I know. No, really, I mean I know. And it’s not a nice feeling. In my case, I contacted the blogger, we sorted things out. But I do still feel a bit of a grudge that they didn’t leave a comment on the post in the first place.

     Which brings me to last week. I was, frankly, stunned by the response to ‘You do not speak for me’. It was a blogpost written in under half an hour, no prior planning, I was interrupted constantly throughout writing it. I expected it to pretty much sink without trace. I didn’t expect to get over 2,000 views in a day. I didn’t expect to find myself being discussed on facebook. I didn’t expect to find myself on the front page of mumsnet. Most of all, I didn’t expect the amount of comments. More pertinently, I didn’t expect the number of comments who seemed to spectacularly miss the point I was making, which was not about logic, but about Richard Dawkins assuming he could evaluate experiences of rape in terms of logic. I did expect to get a few trolls making threats of rape against me, and sure enough they did pop up. I ignored, marked as spam, moved on.


      I didn’t expect to be told that someone watched it develop with great pride. I didn’t expect Alistair to tell me I should start considering myself to be a writer (he hasn’t read any of this twatty blogger’s output, so we can forgive him). Most of all, I didn’t expect   the comments I got from Anonymous on Friday and Saturday. I get all sorts of comments on here. Sometimes nice, sometimes nasty. Sometimes I’m not really sure what the comments actually mean, if they’re agreeing, disagreeing, or making a point I don’t get.
    
     But I’ve never cried over comments before. A few tears, yes. Lump in throat, quite often. But those two comments…  I cried, because I was touched in a way that very few people have ever managed. I’m crying now, as I type these words. And, Anonymous, when I have a shitty day, I will think of you, whoever you are, and remember what you wrote. Thank you. You reminded me why I blog, what it’s given me, and what it means to me. It means more than I can tell you.

6 comments:

Lottie Lomas said...

Lovely post, as always, lady. You are a very talented writer and should bloody well go for it! (Whatever IT is.) I'm sorry that you were trolled - ARSEHOLES.

Keep writing, lovely. That is all.

Lucy Benedict said...

Not a chance in hell I will ever stop...

Anonymous said...

Lucy, I am sending you a shed load of cotton wool, and tissues. You have cried. I have cried. I am an emotional wreck. Your words have had a profound effect. You deserve all the love and goodness life can bring you because you are SO SPECIAL. Love, and a big cotton wool hug. Xxx Your older version

Lucy Benedict said...

You've got me going again... Thank you, thank you so much. I wish I knew who you were, so I could thank you properly. You've made me realise how lucky I am that I have this blog, and have had the chance to encounter so many good people. Love to you too xxx

Anonymous said...

Lucy, it is not necessary for you to know me. You might be disappointed and something very special could be lost. All you need to know is that I will be with you each and every day, reading your blogs and following you on Twitter. I will know if you are having a shitty day and I will send a shed load of cotton wool. You will feel the warmth. Ride the storm, relish the highs in your life. Love your life, love your children. Give them big cotton wool hugs and they will love you forever. You have an insight into life that few of us experience. Believe me when I say, you are so incredibly special. Love to you from your older version xxx

Lucy Benedict said...

I'm sure I wouldn't be disappointed to know who you are, but as Lucy isn't my real name, I can hardly complain I don't know yours. Thank you, again, for your unbelievably kind words that have made me cry again. I am comforted to know someone will be thinking of me xxx