People who don’t get it

As writers, we often come across people who don’t “get it.” I’ve written poems to the people who don’t understand art.

Writing is an art that isn’t black and white (thankfully). We can interpret a piece in a million different ways. We can use our life experiences to relate to someone’s work.

However, if we’re the author and someone is misunderstanding our work and blaming us, how should we feel?

Is the problem us, them, or neither party?

Recently I wrote a post about “fire safety,” but it was a metaphor. Do I need to say what the metaphor is?

My assumption is that readers can figure it out.

Right?

That’s my hope, after all.

My hopes were dashed today when I received some rude tweets from someone who clearly didn’t “get it.”

Here’s how it went down:

Her: Did you really sit in your house while it was on fire?

Me: Hahaha, no, it’s a metaphor.

Her: Oh good cause I thought you were really a dumbass.

Source: imgarcade.com She did.

Source: imgarcade.com
She did.

Me: Yeah no. It’s quite clearly not about a real fire. It’s an obvious metaphor…

Her: Well it’s clearly not if I had to ask.

Me: Nah, it’s pretty clear. Maybe you just didn’t get the metaphor?

Her: I guess it’s just not that good.

Source: hellogiggles.com

Source: hellogiggles.com

Me: Well then you don’t have to read it. #thanks #ByeFelicia 🙂

For real, that actually went down.

If I had to give some advice to people out there wondering how to critique a writer’s work, here are some helpful tips:

Rule #1: Don’t call the author a dumbass. I know it’s shocking, but calling anyone a dumbass may come off as rude.

Rule #2: Don’t continue to insult the author. You may come off as hostile.

Rule #3: If you don’t understand the author’s intentions, remember that you didn’t have to read or even reach out.

Rule #4: Be prepared for the author to be offended. The author may not even feel inclined to be overly kind to you. Who would be cheerful after someone just called her a dumbass?

My conclusions from this little Twitter exchange?

Source: memegenerator.net

Source: memegenerator.net

No matter how long you’ve been writing, no matter how educated in the writing field you are, you will have haters. It’s just life. And like T-Swizzle, it’s better to just shake it off (or write a snarky post about it). Whichever works for you. Using whatever inspiration you can find to motivate your writing is something that will help your writing evolve. So maybe we need haters?

 

 

 

 

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Blog Pitch Party 2: Pitch Your Blog And Attract New Followers

Guys! Join The Modern Philosopher’s Blog Pitch Party! Comment with your pitch, and check out lots of other awesome bloggers.

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

invitedSince Spring Training has started, I’ve certainly got pitching on my mind, Modern Philosophers.

However, not all pitching is limited to the type that takes place on a baseball field.

I’ve been thinking about the wildly successful Blog Pitch Party I threw back in July, and I thought it was time to host another.

As you know, I’m also a screenwriter.  When I was lived in California, I’d get invited by producers to a pitch meeting.  Basically, they’d ask about my scripts, and then based on a few sentences from me, they’d decide if they were interested in reading any of them.

keep wrtingI thought that same progress would work perfectly with blogs.  Why not bring a little Hollywood to the blogging world, Modern Philosophers?

In the comment section, pitch your blog.  Give us the name, a link, and up to three sentences describing your blog.

If you choose to participate…

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Who

Source: hannahaltmanphoto.tumblr.com

I am a “what.”

The media asks “what” I am wearing.

I am photo shop.

Instagram filters.

Clever wit on Twitter, one forty letters or less.

I am nameless.

A face he sends Snapchat nude requests

when his girlfriend’s cross country

and he needs release.

I am legs,

curvy ass,

breasts peeking out from a V-neck black dress.

I am impractical red heels.

Dark lipstick smeared on my chin after too many cocktails.

I am collapsed at the toilet.

Weeping after he found another nameless face.

She answered his sultry questions with more wit than I.

I wake in a stupor of “What have I done?”

when the question should be

“Who?”

Fire Safety 101

Source: rayburnfsi.com

Source: rayburnfsi.com

Did I leave the oven on? Something’s burning.

It’s hot. I’ll turn down the thermostat.

Is that smoke coming from the curtains? I’ll stamp it out.

What about that fog? I’ll open a window.

Instead of packing my precious belongings and running from the house at the first sign of smoke, I wait until the house is up in flames. I barely make it out alive. Smoke fills my lungs, my skin is scorched, and I have third-degree burns.

Why did I wait until the last second to escape?

I’ve been learning fire safety since at least kindergarten.

Fire Safety 101 is:

Crawling under the smoke.

Touching doors with the back of my hand before opening them.

Memorizing my escape plan.

A meeting place for loved ones.

Executing the escape plan–quickly as possible.

Calling 911.

I’ve always known Stop, Drop, and Roll to extinguish the flames. In emergencies, every second counts. Nothing can wait. My survival depends on running away at the first scent or sight of smoke.

When I was five, I was the “good kid.” The girl who followed every direction without question or argument. I was happy. Giddy. Enthusiastic. Envisioning my future, I had dreams so colorful that it’s no wonder they haven’t yet come to life.

With years of fire safety education throughout my life, how have I ignored it? I checked the oven, blew out the candles, stomped out the small fires from my curtains, and opened my windows in hopes that outside air would clear the fog. I should have been running from the house, screaming to anyone who would listen.

I should have watched from across the street as my house was engulfed in flames. I shouldn’t have been inside.

I stubbornly sat on the couch as the smoke rose throughout the room. I glanced around as flames encircled me.

“Maybe it’ll get better,” I say out loud. “I can just douse the fire with water and it’ll be fine.”

But the flames multiply, consume every room. Soon, I will have no escape. I will burn like charcoal. My ashes indistinguishable from the burned remains of my house.

Source: alleffects.com

Source: alleffects.com

I jump from the couch when windows explode and glass cuts my face. When explosions erupt throughout the entire house. When welts form on my bare arms from objects that hit me.

“I need to get out!” I scream, and my body hits the floor.

I frantically crawl to the front door and let myself out. My shoes are burning, smoking. Winter air shocks my body, and I collapse.

Every second counts towards my survival or my body burning before I can reach the front door. I am unconscious, but alive. With medical attention, my health will return. I’ll have nightmares, but nothing I won’t wake up from. I could experience PTSD, but nothing a little therapy and medication won’t help manage.

No matter how many times I curse myself for ignoring the smoke that filled my nostrils, for dousing the small fires when I should have just gotten the hell out, I am grateful to have escaped alive. I can be cured. The burns will scar, but they will fade with time. My nightmares won’t haunt me forever. Therapy may only be a few sessions before I can manage and control my thoughts.

I may be broken, but I can be fixed.

I’ll never forget fire safety, and even though I ignored what I learned, I have the scars to prove how important it is to have an escape plan.

I am a survivor now. I have a story to share. I am the example of what not to do. When I think back on my five-year-old self, I never imagined I would be this girl. The girl who stays too long, who puts her life at risk, who remains in a burning house.

When the fireman looks out at the crowd of tiny, pristine faces and recites, “Your possessions can be replaced, but we can’t replace you,” even though it’s cliché, it’s true. If I stayed in that fire a second longer, my bones would be dust with the rest of my possessions.

I can rebuild my house. I can buy the necessities. I can replace all of my possessions.

But I matter. My body, my existence, and my worth are more valuable than every item I own. For years, I let the smoke build, trying not to inhale the toxins, and opened the windows for clean air. I remained a prisoner. I ignored my worth. When the blood streamed down my face and fire scalded my skin, I woke up. I had to save myself.

Suddenly, I mattered. I wanted to live. More than any other time in my life. I wanted to survive. I didn’t have to die. I wasn’t ready. I needed more time.

The smoke is clearing. Spring is officially only weeks (but realistically) only a couple months away. My body craves sunshine and warm temperatures. That won’t erase the trauma, but my pain will fade with the passage of time.

After putting my life at risk and ignoring the fire hazards, I know that if I can survive that, then I can be the girl who I recognize in the mirror. A girl who smiles and means it. Who is her own ally, and not the enemy holding the match to light the house on fire.

My house may have burned to the ground, I may be broken, but I can be fixed.

Source: flickr.com

Source: flickr.com

Enemy number one

She sees you as flesh.

Only flesh.

Every scar, birth mark, and bruise is magnified under her microscope.

She analyzes and her hypothesis is that every observation is a defect.

What’s can she do when all the meat is defected?

She cuts you up, slicing precisely. Then she will mold you into a sculpture. Something appealing to the eye.

As she sculpts, she punches, punishes. Every piece of flesh must be exact.

She manipulates, manhandles. The artistic process never ends.

She is you.

My Blog is Slowly Becoming “The Breakup Blog”

Source: allisonarchived.com

Source: allisonarchived.com

…and I’m not sorry about it.

Blogging has recently become crucial for me in dealing with circumstances out of my control. Writing has always been a constructive way of gaining control in my life. Blogging is currently not only one of my creative outlets in coping with realities I’d like to bury deep within my subconscious, but it’s therapy.

When inspiration shoots through my veins, I cannot ignore it. I must follow it, breathe it in, exhale it somewhere. The exhalations occur with the “Publish” button.

Maybe I’m a broken record?

I don’t care.

When I’m falling from the sky, dangerously close to smashing into the concrete, I need something to grab onto. Something. Anything.

Poetry. Venting to friends. Music. Blogging. Lately, the latter has become my therapy of choice. Not only am I using my creativity as an outlet, but blogging has felt like an added bonus of venting to the blogging community as well. Creative venting, I’ll call it.

Combining writing and the ability to vent with the click of a button is just what I’m craving. A release for the volatile thoughts I would normally internalize.

In spoken conversations, I keep details to the bare minimum, skipping over my raw emotions. My armor and mask are chained to my frail body.

However, writing is safe. I let go of the death grip on my thoughts as I publish blog post after blog post. It’s my form of communication when I cannot speak.

Through the comments section of my blog, I realize that I’m not alone. No matter how many nights I spend within myself, cold and numb, there are others doing the same.

While plummeting to the ground, I need a glimmer of light. A light to soften the impact of the crash. Blogging has been that light for me recently.

Humyn is my space to creatively voice my neurotic thoughts that naw at my brain. If I am a broken record, obsessing over the same themes consistently, I’m not sorry.

I’ve been infected with poison in my veins, and writing is my therapy to bleed it out. Blogging is more efficient, and at the same time, I hope that I am helping others in the same situation.

Blogging isn’t just about me. I blog for myself and for others who need motivation and a voice. Connecting with people who have reached out to me makes the darkness easier to stumble through.

My blog has taken directions I never expected, and it’s become more important to my sanity than I ever thought possible. Writing is an eternal process for my life. There will always be movies to review, poems to discover, songs to absorb, relationships to analyze. I have numerous obsessions in life, and my inspirations will never be exhausted.

I am grateful for everyone who has followed, commented, and emailed. This is just the beginning of a fabulous journey.

A letter to myself (and girls everywhere)

Source: empowermagazine.com

Source: empowermagazine.com

Dear me (and you),

This black hole is familiar. You traveled down it roughly three and a half years ago. Back then you said to yourself, “I’ve never been this hurt.”

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that has changed. Right now, you have never been this hurt. Three and a half years ago was a cake walk compared to wrenching the knife out of your back now.

You reach your arms back to grasp it, twist it left and right, but somehow, the knife lodges deeper. You drop your arms to your sides.

Every day is like an alternate universe. You wake up each morning, hoping you dreamt it, but when reality hits, you wish you could fall asleep again. You’d rather have nightmares than be awake for real life.

No matter how many, “You’re a great girl! You’ll find someone better!” comments you hear, right now you only blame YOU.

Your brain is screaming, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I not good enough? Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this?”

Subconsciously you know those thoughts are irrational. But when you’re spiraling downward, down the rabbit hole, you can’t think straight. When the reality is that he found someone else, someone prettier, someone better, it’s impossible not to blame yourself.

Three and a half years ago, you swore you wouldn’t allow someone to hurt you again. You broke that promise. You put your stitched up, bruised little heart in his palm. And he squeezed it. The contents are everywhere. Exploded on the wall.

How can you clean yourself up now? You may as well get out the mop.

Weakness and naïveté aren’t what caused this. It wasn’t stupidity. No matter how much you think that, it’s not. It was hope.

Despite the pain cutting you up every day, you had hope. A tiny sliver of light peeking through the tunnel of depression. While humanity crushed you, you had hope that he was the one coming to pick you up. To save you from yourself.

I’m sorry. So sorry that he is another enemy you have to guard yourself from. I’m sorry that your armor is back in place, that you’re wearing your mask once more, and that you’re fighting against anyone breaking through. I’m sorry that life is a war for you right now.

The familiar pain is unavoidable. I wish I could fast forward it, numb it, erase it. I know you vowed never to be “here” again, but history repeats itself.

Romantic movies, love songs, or anything that remotely reminds you of that knife sticking out of your back will cause the downward spiral. Falling asleep and waking up are the most painful times of every day. He will haunt your dreams. He will become another ghost you’re battling to forget. You’re terrified he has already forgotten you. Never in your life have you wished time travel to be possible more than you do now.

You can’t erase him. You can’t forget. No amount of time can change that. You will hate him. But the memories will fade to another lifetime. Someday, he won’t matter anymore. He will be a ghost who no longer haunts you. Just like the last.

It takes longer than you’d think. Time is another one of your enemies.

I know you’ve given up hope. I know that “love” is just another four-letter word. But hope will creep back into your life. I promise. It’s okay to give up for now. It’s okay to be a mess. It’s okay to hate him.

One day, you’ll know it wasn’t your fault. You’ll look at yourself in the mirror again. You’ll smile. You will see a girl you’re not ashamed to be.

No matter how isolated you are, know that you’re not the only one. You’re fighting the same battle as thousands of other girls (and guys) out there.

Someday you’ll accept that it wasn’t your fault. It never was. Once you realize this, you will reach back, rip the knife out of your back, and the gash will stop bleeding.

Even if no one else can be trusted, and you believe that everyone is out to hurt you (I know it may appear that way at times), be your own ally. Right now is a time to trust yourself. It’s crucial.

You will save your life.

I love you.

Sincerely,
Me

If I Had a Dollar (Why I Am a Feminist)

This powerful Freshly Pressed post says it better than I ever could. An important read, and I think everyone, men and women, must read this. Feminism is not “a thing of the past.” It is now. It’s you and me. It’s your parents, grandparents, and strangers on the street. Feminism is everywhere. We live and breathe it, and there are enemies fighting against it. Feminism has been misconstrued, but the heart of it is equality. Feminism isn’t a dirty word. What’s dirty is pretending that we don’t need it.

girl in the hat

image courtesy Devil Doll image courtesy Devil Doll

Because my mother was a painter and a beauty when artists had patrons and a woman like that needed a man to take care of her, so she married a money man.

Because my mother’s mother was a beauty and her mother was, too, and that’s what people said: “She was a beautiful woman,” as if that was the only remarkable thing.

Because I was born in 1966, the year Betty Friedan and others started the National Organization of Women and challenged an industry which required flight attendants to quit if they got married, pregnant, or reached the age of 32.

Because when my mother had me, she stopped painting and started cleaning house and throwing dinner parties and smoking too many cigarettes and crying in the mirror.

Because my mother never told me that I looked pretty because she did not want me to grow…

View original post 806 more words

The Heart Versus the Mind: Who Wins?

Source: economydecoded.com

Source: economydecoded.com

The battle between the heart and mind is complicated. I’ve been through it a million times.

The problem is that while I let them duke it out, I sit back and watch. Frozen and indecisive. I don’t pick a side, for fear of making the wrong choice.

On one hand, the heart is the emotional, sometimes ridiculous side. It day dreams. The heart is hopeful and even unrealistic. Dramatic.

On the other hand, the mind is logical. Analytical. It’s detailed and organized. The brain is the voice of reason that causes the heart to sink in my chest.

I stand on the sidelines during the war between my mind and my heart. Even though my brain is currently telling me that the heart does not “feel,” and that the brain is responsible for that as well, my emotional side just doesn’t care.

The logical side wishes I were decisive. Reasonable. But the emotional side knows that it’s not easy. If I knew which side would make me stronger in the end, that is the side I’d stand on.