Day 286: Think Before You Speak– Too Bad I Don’t Follow My Own Advice

Every sword has two edges.  I am like every sword.  Most of the time, I am not harmful, but if I am turned just the right way, I am sharp and cutting.  Most people look at me as innocuous, and usually I am, but from time to time, I feel that something or someone is a personal affront to my belief system, and I slash..  It’s not pretty.

I’ll give you one example, and it is not even a horrible story.

A former roommate and good friend of mine moved to Pittsburgh a number of years ago.  We were in a core group of friends.  For a very long time, every time she came into town, we would all get a phone call or an email saying when she would be in, for how long, and an invitation to get together.  Sometimes, she would stay at my house, other times, someone else’s.

Last year, I found out that she had started to come to town to visit only one of the core friends.  She was not calling or visiting anyone else.  To be honest, I felt slighted, and the more I let it stew, the more it aggravated me.  A month later when I found out that it had happened yet again, I became unhinged.  I was so infuriated that I called her cell phone.  Unfortunately, she did not pick up.  Instead of leaving a calm message asking for her to call me back, I unleashed.

(In a really good announcer’s voice): What you are about to hear is a fictionalized rant that is probably at least partially accurate.  This tirade is rated R.  If you are under the age of seventeen, you will need parental consent to go any further.

“Well, I guess we’re not friends anymore.  What the fuck?  All you can do is visit X?  I fucking lived with you!  I fucking listened to your woes, but suddenly I am dog shit?  If you don’t have time for me than fine!  I guess I will save a stamp at Christmas!  I am obviously not good enough for you?  Fuck off and good riddance!”

Thankfully, she knew me well enough to call back and talk me off the ledge.  She knew me well enough to know that my turbulent philippic was driven by emotion.  She explained why she had not been in touch (of course, the reason was more than valid), and she forgave me for my rant.

The reason I mention this at all, is because last night after an uncomfortable encounter with my extended family, I was feeling a little bit off.  I had not addressed innuendos directed at me, and I was feeling a bit agitated.  When I went to Freshly Pressed and saw What Makes a Post Freshly Press-able: There Is a Light That Never Goes Out and read the suggestions for getting Pressed, the imbalance in my cortex became weighed by negativity.  I read through, thinking of multiple stories that I have written that fulfill their criteria, and by the end, I felt like I needed to be heard.  I went directly to the comment box and wrote the following:

“Fuck off!  I have written some amazing shit in 285 days– read it, and I have not been pressed.  I am going to get published, and my OPEN LETTER TO YOU FP will still remain.  I will talk about growth and yadayadayada, but that is all.  I paid for this crap.  I will still keep writing for the people.  I will probably pay again, but I am disappointed in some of your FP compared to some of my posts.  I know you will delete this!  So, can I say again, FUCK OFF!”

They didn’t erase it.

Hmmm.  Not my finest moment.  I need to learn to think before I speak.  Frankly, it’s just embarrassing to be such an asshole.


10 thoughts on “Day 286: Think Before You Speak– Too Bad I Don’t Follow My Own Advice

  1. We don’t delete criticism of Freshly Pressed; everyone’s entitled to their feelings about the posts we choose. If you’d like us to take it down, I’m happy to – – I definitely don’t want anyone to feel like an asshole.

    • No, no! It was a rant, and it may serve as my scarlet letter of humiliation. Nonetheless, it was based in truth. I know you hear this constantly, “Fresh press me.” I will not give a resume as to why I feel I should be pressed over someone else. It is the perogative of the editors.

  2. You don’t have to fall on your sword! Please keep blogging. Believe me, I know how you feel. So do thousands of others. Thing is, there’s a zillion bloggers out there, all posting fast as we can. And only a handful of space on Freshly Pressed! The competition is ferocious! The odds of getting recognition, beyond your own circle of followers, are daunting.

    I’ve been blogging on WordPress since 2007, hundreds of posts on two blogs, about 150,000 hits total. I think I’m a pretty good writer, naturally! I was never Freshly Pressed until a few weeks ago.

    I’ve seen bunches of blogs come and go. There’s lots of churn on the blogosphere. Many bloggers get tired and move on after a few weeks or months. You’re doing better than many, but 285 days is really not all that long, given the zillions of posts on WordPress over that period.

    As a former newspaper reporter and editor, I recognized a long time ago that I was only one of thousands of competent but unremarkable journeymen laboring in the news biz. Most of us are unemployed or working nights at a motel by now. The metro newspapers and network news outfits — and especially the New York book publishers — are looking for star-power talent, not journeymen like me.

    They might be looking for you though. Someone might notice your spunk. Thank you for expressing your frustration. A lot of bloggers share your feeling, and I know WordPress recognizes that as well. I think that’s why your comment is still up there. You represent a lot of people who were too shy to vent.

    WordPress is providing a wonderful, free platform. If not for WordPress, peeps like you and me would have no audience at all.

    You’re a good writer, and getting better all the time. Be confident, be strong. Keep blogging, but take a day off once in a while, too. Write for yourself, and for your readers. Write on!

    • Thank you so much for your kindness– I understand that the newspaper and magazine industry have changed– I am humbled by your perseverence in the face of adversity.

      I committed to 366 days of writing, and I cannot waver. Nonetheless, your words offer me a sense of calm and motivation all at the same time. I am not quitting. I will probably not be FP; nonetheless, you are right… I am getting stronger and better, and when I finally go to write something to publish, it will be good!

      Thank you again for your kind words!

  3. Never apologize, Cheryl. Never. At least not for your blog or comments. I don’t visit other blogs, because honestly, most don’t say anything worthwhile. I came here to read from the person that wanted to know “why”. We started The ThrowDown in 2009 and you won’t find us in any cliques, circles or most certainly FP. We now write to enough people to fill sizeable sports arenas, so FP is pretty inconsequential to us at this point. I say that to ease you forward, not to be a jerk. Keep that fire. Write with it in every post, critics, myself or WordPress be damned. The readers will discover you, and they’ll come from all corners of the internet. I’ll close and say something nice about WordPress. They have an above average Spam filter. Best wishes, -JB

  4. I like your comments for their honesty but mostly because you dared to vent them publicly.

    I have recently joined wordpress. It gives me the opportunity as an under-employed person to hone my writing skills and that was why I decided that I should take the weekly challenge as often as I can. It will force me to stretch myself.

    Taking that challenge has fired my competitive spirit. So I thought about my chances of winning and read the tips about getting freshly pressed. But I recognise that the probability of they finding my post among the millions is very very low. Then as a Caribbean woman, I wondered if my perspective would be appealing to them.

    I have concluded that to get my mail touched by them is like a great lottery and then the competition begins. I have decided to go back to writing because I love it; I have something to say. Hone my skills and to hell with all the rest.

    I am glad said your piece; a piece that I might have had to say in vexation one day. I new but you have said it for us.


    • Well, I for one love diversity and learning about people from all over the world. I have every intention of watching you grow as a writer!

      Thanks for your kindness– I am glad I could speak for us both!

  5. Your comment on the FP page brought me to your site so it kind of did the job after all! We don’t say what we really mean often enough I think. I’m going to keep reading to see what happens when you really lose it.

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