A few weeks ago, I received a short email from a stranger in Vermont who hates my blog. He called me an embarrassment to the state and asked me not to advertise my “Vermontness.” He didn’t give any specific criticism. Instead, he just insisted that my writing is terrible. (He misspelled two of the words in the email. But who am I to judge?) I didn’t respond because I didn’t have the words.
Yet, I’d be lying to say that I wasn’t crushed. His email really got under my skin. I didn’t understand why this man would even bother to email me. Was I really an embarrassment to Vermont? Why wouldn’t he just ignore my blog if he hated it? Did he really have to email me and ruin my day? I lost sleep that evening tossing and turning over his words.
It took some time to regain my confidence. But, after a few decent sleep cycles, I realized that I couldn’t let him destroy my love of writing for many reasons:
- I never claimed to be Shakespeare.
- I’m not charging money for him (or anyone) to read my blog.
- I’m not hurting anyone.
- FOR GOSH SAKE, I’M SIMPLY TRYING TO DO SOMETHING I LOVE.
I can take criticism. But I don’t appreciate meanies. When it comes to this silly little blog, I can’t apologize for something that makes me so darn happy. (I officially give you permission to ignore this blog forever if you hate it.)
I don’t have to succeed. I don’t have to fail. I just have to try my best. After all, try in my heart is more powerful than hate on your tongue.