Have you ever read a blog that needs improvement? I improve blogs. Sometimes I use a stick and sometimes I use a carrot. It depends on my mood; on whether I want to call people out or call people in. Sometimes I’ll give posts two separate treatments, one harsh and one compassionate.
I think anyone who writes an impassioned post on the Interwebs has something of value to say. Sometimes, poor style and diction obscure that value. Sometimes, half-baked posts succeed when given just a little more time and energy.
Other times, bloggers spin shit into shinola (or try to). In such cases, I’m here to call shit what it is, because fuck that shit.
The lady in pink pictured here is the Queen of Swords. I tell my Tarot clients that her bark is worse than her bite. She is kind and she has intelligence. She’s Dorothy Parker. She’s Women In STEM Fields. She’s our first female President, I hope. She’s my voice in this blog.
At the center of her life blooms compassion for humanity. She’s soft. Her skill with the sword represents strategic thought, and the victory of logic applied with good form and grace. She hits, sometimes hard (especially when her opponent lacks skill), but not below the waist. She will take your hand and help you up after the fight. She will also submit when she’s wrong. She’s emotional, but through practice (read: getting hurt by her own mistakes), she’s learned to act consciously instead of reacting.
Q: Who made you Queen of the Blogosphere?
I appointed myself to this position. All bloggers make themselves authorities of a topic or subject. Some bake, some raise kids, some explain tech, some game, some go on adventures, and this gal looks down her glasses at poorly written (if well-meaning… or not) blogs.
If I think highly of myself, it’s so I can reach those heights. Eye on the prize, shoot for the moon even if you miss, etc. etc. I do not actually think I know everything and can school everyone. I want you on the high road with me, even if your position in life gives you a different point of view, even if you don’t speak my language and even if — especially if — you’re struggling. I don’t think you deserve less.
Q: Why are you so angry?
Sometimes, I’m not angry, just forceful. People often read “opinionated” as “pissed off,” especially when the opinionated sass rubs them the wrong way. Yet we have important opinions to express! This is a democracy, sort of! We must argue in order to meaningfully participate, but we don’t have to be hot and bothered all the time. Trust me, I couldn’t handle constant anger. Sanity tip: don’t read anger into things just because they’re feisty.
At times, I might use anger as a tool to defend my values, namely:
- The interests, rights and safety of people I care about, and
- The integrity of writing as an effective means of communication.
Other times, I’m not even mad.
Q: Why are you so mean?
I make a concerted effort not to be mean, but wit sabotages my lovingkindness sometimes. I hope you’ll forgive my indulgence in wit. See also: The Difference Between Constructive Criticism and Bullying.
Q: How would you like a taste of your own medicine?
That’s called the taste generally lingering in my mouth, my friend! I am hugely critical of my writing. I began blogging when I was 12, back when cyberbullying first became a thing. In those days, most kids fussed about how best to present their interests and eyeliner on Myspace, while some kids angsted copiously on Livejournal. I was the Livejournal kid. I plan on
eviscerating improving some of my own posts on this blog.
I do welcome criticism. In writing workshops, I find that about 3-5 people will deeply engage with an individual’s work and provide thoughtful feedback. Of those, 1-2 will give useful feedback. The other 8 or so participants do nothing for that individual. I still think it’s worth attending.
Back to the question, I like the term “medicine.” Sometimes it heals immediately, and sometimes it takes a while. Sometimes it tastes bitter or is hard to swallow. A given medicine isn’t for everyone. There are sometimes unintended side effects. Medicine-makers sometimes have ulterior motives, and they’re always fallible humans. There’s always more to understand, and never a cure-all. Yet the point of medicine is to heal.
In that light, you can take it or leave it.
Stop being so serious, I love your writing! Will you “fix” this godawful post I read?
Possibly! Please submit candidates for fixing here.