Usually, if the entry is not that great, I'll just delete it. I have deleted a lot of entries before they got here, and even closed some I already put up. The majority of the ones that get deleted are from rants that run out of steam after a few days of calming down, or seeing the other side. Some get deleted because they are too controversial, and those are the ones that hang around the longest before finally getting the ax. I have an "inner voice" that I listen to, and if it says, "this feels wrong," I don't put it up. What "feels wrong" usually has someone else included in it that I don't want to get hurt.
For instance, my entry on insanity still "feels wrong" because while my paternal side has a huge streak of bad insanity in our family tree, my uncle does not, and I don't want him to feel bad. Plus, what would that mean to my cousins, who are also fairly sane? It's too bad, though, I think it's really good, but not good enough to hurt those I love.
Another issue is came about when "Sara A" said I was secretly writing bad things about her and the board in my entries, which came out of nowhere. I saved the e-mails, and was reading them over the Christmas holiday while cleaning my inbox, and apparently I still hurt from them. She didn't ask, she TOLD me that, "There is so much misinformation being tossed around in your journal it's astonishing." Wow. She saw something of herself or the board in what I wrote, and it astonished her. Not concerned, not worried, but it shot right past anger and actually astonished her. That paints the picture of someone reading something I thought was fairly neutral in their direction, and her possibly gasping in shock. Maybe pausing in mid-denial before the flood of confusion and pain forced her to send me an e-mail confronting me in my obvious bold aggression. Of course, I was also astonished like a bucket of cold water had been tossed on me. After the whole regrettable incident, it made me more sensitive to my rants, and I still wonder, "If I post this, will another friend of mine think the same thing?" I used to post things generically to keep certain things anonymous, but then that makes it very susceptible to interpretation. That whole ordeal shook my confidence more than asshats like "Trinity7" did, because at least you know what they are thinking. With Sara A, I never saw it coming. I mean, I suppose I should say, "Oh, Sara, you crazy dinkus," but I actually still feel bad. I didn't mean to hurt Sara, but I guess that's one of life's lessons: sometimes, life is not fair.
I wrote this entry because I am trying to think about where my writing (non-bloggish fiction) is going. Now, not to be full of myself, but suppose my writing becomes so popular, I actually get a little following. I go to a few book signings, asked to be a guest again, and the usual stuff I see at conventions. You know the more people I meet, in the spotlight like that, I am going to meet a few crazy people; just statistically speaking for the moment. Maybe one or more of them will think my book was really about their lives, you know, like the reason they have those disclaimers in books and movies: "All persons depicted in this work, living and dead, are purely coincidental.'' I could counter the same way I did with Sara A, "What the hell are you talking about?" But I learned that you just can't sway people sometimes. They are going to think what they want to think, and that's their right, and truth is sometimes subjective to the person who started the argument, anyway. Now what about Trinity7? I would be really arrogant if I thought everyone would like my work. I'll be happy if only half do. I suppose I'll be at a book signing table, and geeky Star Trek collectable card gamer from Colorado will come up and scream at me, "You say you are fannish, but in a blog entry back in '04, you mentioned an angry geeky Star Trek collectable card gamer, and I am here to say as a person from the Denver Star Trek contingent who games, that I took offense to that! You're no fan! You're EVIIIILLLL!" and maybe throw his can of Mountain Dew at me. And as I sit at that table, with wet and now sticky orange-scented hair, what do I do? What does J.K. Rowling do when someone says she stole their ideas, or that the Harry Potter series promotes violence, rebellion, and Satanaism? I am sure that Steven King has had his share of loony encounters, too. I have to learn how to deal with this, because incidents like Sara A and Trinity7 will be nothing compared to some lazy crazy person with too much time on their hands and a lawyer. And with "Between the Lines?" That book has a lot of flavor from my past in it. I have to be careful I don't piss some people off or make it TOO close to life.
So, this blog takes on yet another role as a sort of testbed against these sorts of things. If I can't handle them, I can't handle fame. If I can't handle public scrutiny, I should keep all writing to myself. But I can't do that. I like to entertain. This is a choice I have made... and I have to stick to it.
This year will be full of lessons.
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000335.html