One Negative Comment

Yesterday I was delighted to receive an email from Jenna Hatfield, Family Section Editor at BlogHer, letting me know that one of my posts was being featured! Recently (very recently as this was my second post) I started cross-posting some of my posts on BlogHer.

Turns out that it’s an excellent way to get more exposure for your writing and your blogs. As of this morning my little post was read 855 times; traffic here on A Slice of Life Writing was up yesterday too.

When I posted Baby Shower here last week it seemed to be popular with regular readers. Eight kind readers clicked the Facebook “Like” button at the end of the post and it was even featured as a Site to See at As The Crackerhead Crumbles. All in all, I was pleased with the post and thrilled when I learned BlogHer featured it. I received a few nice comments over there too.

So why can’t I get the one negative comment written about it on BlogHer out of my mind?

The commenter made mention of “dramatic and unnecessary gasping” in the post. Apparently my attempt at humor didn’t set well with everyone.

Reference was made to the very-real dangers of putting babies to sleep on their tummies and nursery furniture that is below today’s safety standards, implying that I made light of advances in safety in recent generations. On the contrary, I couldn’t be more grateful for every safety precaution my children are taking with my grandchildren to keep them healthy and safe.

In my mind the first section of the post was obviously written with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek; I assumed it read that way too.

If one negative comment bothered me that much, I can’t help but look forward to when my memoir is published. I don’t expect that everyone will love it; I’m sure there will be some less-than-flattering comments. We all have different likes and dislikes, and that’s just fine.

I realized that this pre-publication time is a perfect opportunity to start preparing myself mentally and emotionally to handle negativity and criticism about my book.

No one ever said the path of a memoir writer was going to be easy. That’s okay. I still believe it’s the right path for me.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. Linda, You’ve touched a chord here when you share your feelings about this one negative comment. There’s always a risk when we pour out our feelings on the page and you are so right, “the path to memoir is not easy.” I don’t know why one negative comment carries so much weight when the many positives far outweigh it. Maybe it’s because we put out hearts and souls into our work. I agree we don’t always have to agree or like everything we read and when we put our thoughts in writing it may be misinterpreted but (and it’s what comes after the but that counts) to put out a blatantly negative comment like the one you received says more about the person criticizing you than about you or what you wrote. You can still get your point across without being hurtful. Take what you need to from the comment and keep doing what you are doing,Linda. Majority rules. And much congratulations on your feature article!

    1. You hit the nail on the head, Kathy. We put a piece of ourselves into our writing and a negative reaction to our writing can translate into a rejection of self. I’m not buying it, though. I’m moving on.

      Thanks for your well wishes.


  2. Isn’t it so very human how we do this? When TG first came out, I read reviews on Amazon – there were 20 five-star reviews and then the next day there was a 2-star. I stared at that 2-star and my stomach clenched, my heart pounded, and right then I made a decision – get out of there, woman! *laughing* So I did and I never looked back. Three books later and I still don’t read reviews. Because it just becomes this frustrating endeavor, this up and down up and down. It’s not that I don’t think the 2-star review would be “incorrect” –because people are passionate about what they read and what books they love– it’s just that I decided there really isn’t anything I can do about it once I’ve written it and sent it out into the world. It is no longer all mine. So, I don’t have to subject myself to the roller coaster ride. I don’t have to preen at the “flattery” and I don’t have to hide under the covers at the “negative.” I just have to write the best books/words I can and do what I love.

    I realize this is different from blog posts, for we read comments and want to respond or at least be engaged. In this case, just remind yourself that everyone has an opinion. Remind yourself that not everyone is going to love us or our words. And yes, use this as an opportunity to prepare yourself for when you are published. But also remind yourself that you had joy when you wrote those words, and joy when someone appreciated them and shared them with others. Find that joy and keep writing the best words you can.

    1. Kat, thank you SO MUCH for these words. You have the best perspective on this. I’m with you…I’m going to “find that joy and keep writing the best words (I) can”!

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