Why you might stop reading this post before you reach the end of the first sentence

Fiona writes: Before you get to the end of this sentence, most of you will stop reading.
Some of you will be outraged by my opinions on spirituality, or weary of how I always go on about cats/cake/money, or just plain uninterested in the things I write about.
Some of you will be looking for an article about spider monkeys or a picture of plum blossom, or will be gasping for a cup of coffee.
I’m not affected by those in the second category but, in vulnerable moments, I worry about the first.
You might also worry about speaking up – at work, to your friends and family, in your spiritual/political/social groups.
These are the things that help me to keep launching words into the world:
* I remember that, even if every single one of my posts said ‘you’re lovely’, some people would get annoyed. We can NEVER keep all the people happy all the time, and neither should we try to.
* Some (all?) of those people who stop reading are better off doing so. We all have ideal audiences, and it can take a while to find the people who are interested in what we have to say. Chris Guillebeau sometimes sends out newsletters that are extra-Chris-Guillebeauy, just to winnow out the people who will never appreciate his offerings.
* Sometimes I will upset people with the things I write/say. That’s fine too. I’ll listen to feedback and either stand by what I said despite it causing harm, or acknowledge that I made a mistake and learn from it. I’ll know that I’m human. I’ll forgive myself.
Stand by what I said despite causing harm? Yup. Sometimes hurt or stirred-up-feelings are necessary, in order for something to be learnt or something to heal. You don’t always have to like what I say. What you do with your reaction to what I write is up to you. It’s none of my business.
It’s always a risk to speak up. Writers are speaking up whenever they send words out into the world. You are speaking up whenever you open your mouth and make sounds. Even before you make the sounds.
“Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.”
~Barbara Kingsolver
This is what I have to say today.
This went out in a slightly different form as my weekly inspirational newsletter yesterday – sign up here.
Plum blossom by noe via Creative Commons with gratitude.
Comments & replies

18 thoughts on “Why you might stop reading this post before you reach the end of the first sentence

  1. basho42

    Fiona, this is precisely what I needed to hear this morning!It isn’t our business how others respond nor do we have control over any of that! I feel being truthful to myself, having integrity and mindful are all useful tools when sharing the written word.

  2. francesca perry

    You know, I look at WOWH in the same way as I look at the yoga studio I go to and the sacred space in my spare bedroom – its a safe and truthful space. Truth makes everything possible, even when it’s painful.

  3. Lorelei

    Why I love cake, cats, doubts, and inspriation: I can now see you as a real person (almost) because you’ve been generous with these details about your life. If ever I am back in UK, I’d love to have a cup of tea with you. You sound like a fun person. Just saying…
    Laura Hoopes

  4. Claudine G.

    Fiona, your posts are lovely. (And good grief, why would people be upset when you call them ‘lovely?’ Perhaps the issue is with them that which they need to sort out. I suppose they’re having a difficult time …)

    This past week, I felt a couple of stings when the FB followers for my small start-up dropped. Some folks decided to ‘unfollow’ after few of my posts. (I share news on children’s literature. I thought their ‘unfollows’ meant I was doing something wrong.)

    But when one more ‘unfollowed’ after I’d shared a kid book reviewer whom I think is an awesome person, I decided to stop pursuing the reasons behind each unfollow. I won’t let their decision affect what I wish to share. I know I’m sharing good stuff (as in, they aren’t ramblings or hateful stuff at all). So … I’ll keep on.

    Please keep on, too, Fiona. 🙂

  5. Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

    Your post is wonderful. I have to remind myself that even though some may dislike what I have to say, it still has worth. When we write or otherwise create we are launching our energy into the universe, and at some time it will return to us in a positive way. Thank you for sharing this wisdom today.

  6. Peter Bryenton

    Speaking our truth is a skill which may take some of us longer than others to develop. In my own case, overcoming the childhood parent-pleasing behaviour which led to people-pleasing traits in adult life was the focus of some beneficial self-development work.
    Being nice when commenting is not always helpful to the person to whom the comment is directed. Being truthful, while running the risk of causing a negative reaction, is a more valid response when it is the result of carefully considered action.

  7. carla

    Don’t worry about the people who don’t get it, Fiona! WE get it!

    Best wishes, and keep putting it out there!


  8. Katherine Jenkins

    Love this post Fiona! How are YOU? I might have to “borrow” that quote from Barbara Kingsolver…I LOVE IT!
    Will add your blog to my blogroll! Great stuff!

  9. deborahinwi

    Oh, i am so glad i discovered your wonderful website! I’m a new writer simply seeking out others who write also. Not published yet, but i write children’s stories & articles. I am so looking forward to the chance to talk to other writers. I’ll be back. Please visit my little spot below.


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