So I logged into my blog to write a dissertation on the new Star Wars movie and found I have a ton of drafts I started and have not posted. Maybe I should work on those. Truth is, I write posts all the time. I just don’t publish them. I think I’m afraid of the response. My fear that people won’t like them and I will feel stupid and embarrassed.
I constantly feel like Marty McFly when it comes to my comics and art. “I just don’t think I can take that kind of rejection.” That statement has taken on a whole new meaning in this age of social networks. Maybe it is the old pessimist/optimist argument. While on one hand we have never had an opportunity to reach a larger audience, we have also never had the chance as individuals to open ourselves up to so much criticism. Half empty, half full. And boy, does the internet love to criticize.
Anything we put out there could be ripped apart by the vicious predators of the internets. I will even admit to being one of them. This year, my wife told me I was looking good while growing my hair out. Truth is, I am just so socially innept and terrified of human contact I avoid getting a haircut at all costs. Strangers touching me for extended periods. Always wanting to make small talk. Forcing me to pretend I am capable of basic human interaction. “So what do you do? Oh! That’s so interesting!” Some even offer beer now. It’s like a strip club with none of the fun parts. And I don’t like strip clubs, so remove the fun and imagine how bad this is for me. The anxiety. The horror. Getting my hair cut is six different kinds of nightmares.
So her telling me she liked my hair longer was a dream come true. My wife, the hottest woman I know, finding me hot? Life is great! Until the inevitable “You look great! But maybe you should go get it cleaned up a little.” So like every haircut I get, I went in, got my hair butchered and smiled the whole time. At the end I tell her it looks great and deep inside my soul is screaming in terror because she just cut off months worth of hair growth. After telling her how long I have been growing it out and I ONLY want a little clean up around the neck and ears she proceeded to give me flashbacks of my time in the service. Six months of growing my hair out, gone in 20 minutes. And when she asks how it looks, I just smile (in abject horror) and say it looks great while holding back the tears.
Then I promptly head home and before I even kick off my shoes I am online ripping this girl to pieces in my online review. Everything I said in my review was honest. But there is no chance I could dress down this young lady to her face without hating myself. But online, where I don’t have to see her as a person, it was no problem. Sure, there was guilt. Yes she got two stars instead of one because I had SOME pity for her, but in the end I was willing to say things online I couldn’t in person. And I am not alone.
Maybe it is karma that scares me. Maybe it is just my own lack of confidence. Maybe it is just my abject fear of negative judgement that keeps me from posting my comics and blogging. And maybe I need to learn to not care what the negative people say, and post for the love of writing and drawing. So maybe I will make the 38th year of my life about going out there, and doing what I love. Drawing. Writing. And not caring what negativity people throw my way. And maybe trying to tell people the truth, rather than ripping them to shreds in online reviews.