Don’t Write to be Liked – Write Honestly – Don’t Ride the Fence with Your Writing

“The public wants work which flatters its illusions.” ― Gustave Flaubert

I want to be liked; and I dislike, as much as anyone else, for people to disagree with me.  Last week, I submitted something to a publisher, but before I did so, I asked an editor friend of mine to check the manuscript for errors. I am not a person who enjoys being wrong, and it required more courage for me to ask my friend to correct me than it did to submit the work to a publisher.

“The trouble with most of us is that we’d rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” ― Norman Vincent Peale

Although I don’t enjoy being criticized I have finally learned something somewhere along the way. I have learned to admit it when I am wrong and to be wrong gracefully. I have learned to accept and to even appreciate criticism–especially where my writing is concerned.

“An acquaintance merely enjoys your company, a fair-weather companion flatters when all is well, a true friend has your best interests at heart and the pluck to tell you what you need to hear.” ― E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

As I said, I do not like being criticized, and I do not even like the conflict of disagreeing with others, but I decided long ago that I would not be the kind of person who has no real opinions. People without opinions are like piles of mashed potatoes.  Mashed-Potato-People have had the life boiled and whipped completely out of themselves, and they tend to ride the fence on every issue.

Life is not lived on the fence. We must have opinions.  We must take a stand in life.  In taking a stand, our lives can be differentiated from the faceless mob. The only way to be meaningful in life is to let your life mean–to let it actually stand–to let it stand out, and to let it stand for something.

  1. In taking a stand, our lives can be differentiated.
  2. In taking stands in life, we do more than exist–we mean.
  3. The only way to be meaningful in life is to allow your life to mean.

When we begin to take a stand in life, there will people who absolutely hate us for our opinions; but in being real about who we are and about what we believe, we offer other people something real and tangible to love–we offer people an authentic mind, words with meaning, and an ability to let people know why and how we care.

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Social media has its limitations, and one of those limitations is that people who contribute know fairly quickly whether those around them have “liked” or disliked what they have said. If contributors are not careful, they might begin to write to be” liked” and quit writing what is real. Simply to be liked–or at least not unliked, writers may begin standing in the middle of the road.

Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides. – Margaret Thatcher

If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.– Margaret Thatcher

Herein lies the key: If you try to please all of the people all of the time, you have elected to stand for nothing concrete. To stand for something is to get off the fence and to get out of the middle of the road.

“You can please some of the people some of the time all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” –  Abraham Lincoln

The jury seems to have decided about social media. I believe that social media will be around for a long time. For me, blogging is preferable to posting on facebook. On facebook, I feel like I’m in 7th grade again and that I’m standing in the hallway at school, hoping that my slip is not showing or that I don’t have my breakfast caught between my teeth.

Facebook is too cliquey for me. I do still check in on facebook, and WordPress shares what I write with facebook, but facebook is not where I go to attempt any real communication. I have discovered that very few of my facebook “friends” read my blog posts anyway. The people who read my blog posts seem to want to think a little bit more than the people that I see on facebook.

But my main reason for blogging is not to be “liked.” I primarily blog because it is through blogging every day that I keep my own wires straight. Blogging is how I begin to understand and to even like myself.

There Are Many Reasons to Blog. Perhaps the Most Important Reason Is That through Blogging, We Discover That We Are Our Own Best Companions.

When you blog, remember these things:  

  1. You are not writing to be liked by the web or to help the web; you are writing to be liked by yourself–to help yourself.  
  2. Spend time with yourself–and Hear Yourself Think.  And then write what you thought. That is truly what blogging is all about.

Yes, I do talk to the web–to the social media, but I try not to worry if the web is not listening–if it is not “liking” me. What really matters is that I am honest with and like myself. Talk to yourself, say what is on your mind, listen to yourself, and then blog. Allow the rest of the chips to fall where they may.

“I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean.” – Gilbert Keith Chesterton

©Jacki Kellum October 10, 2016

Flattery

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3 thoughts on “Don’t Write to be Liked – Write Honestly – Don’t Ride the Fence with Your Writing

  1. Love your post – It is so true and it is so easy to start doing things just to be liked. I love creating images that means something to me and tells my story. However, it is so easy to get sidetracked with the likes and the comments that you want to create things that are liked. – Thank you for writing not for likes

    Like

  2. I fully appreciate you for writing this! I have the same sentiments and insecurities. When I write on my blog, I have those posts which I am vibing with and feel really connected to and then there are those which I cringe to hit the ‘post’ button. I soldier on and work my way back to “fuck it” status and keep it moving. Thanks for sharing this! 😀

    Like

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