It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything. There’s a reason.
The internet is a crazy place, but then again you already know that. You can find real things, fake things, good things and not-so-good things. In my previous life chapter, I wrote for a living. My stories were published online and in print. I never profess(ed) to be the best at it … but some of my ideas and articles stemmed from my own personal experiences. I learned a lot about the technical aspects of writing, and knew that constructive criticism from my editor and my manager would come in spades. However, the hard part that you have to steel yourself for is the ugly criticism — or when the internet bites back.
Recently, one of my stories that was published early last year was re-published on the same site. It was a fun story and a personal one, titled “10 quirky things about living in Germany.” It chronicled a few observations I had during my first year in Germany. It wasn’t serious, but it was written with the intent of easing the anxieties of newbies coming into the country. The first time it was published, it did well. The second go-round? The internet bit back.
The article was quickly decimated by keyboard warriors. To paraphrase some of the comments, it was some of the worst writing some readers had ever read, I was stupid and naive, and just wait until I write another article for them to rip apart. It took every once of my being to not respond and remind these critics that I’m an actual human. Was it my best article? No. Did I try really hard to shake it off? Yes. Did I succeed? Yes and no. I became a lot more self-conscious, but I’m writing about it … so there’s that.
It’s easy to rip something when you’re sitting behind a screen and a keyboard. Most of the time, you probably don’t know the person and you don’t put a face to the name. People can lash out and then hide quickly among the anonymity of the web. Being on the receiving end isn’t fun. My mantra since I joined social media is that I will not post anything on the web that I wouldn’t say face-to-face. I hope that maybe this will be the case for you too.
I needed to write this to hopefully clear it out of my mind, so I can start where I left off. I have so many stories and adventures I’d like to share with you. So here’s to biting the internet back, and hitting the reset button.