Could You Describe the Ruckus, Sir?

Welcome to Vicky Bell's blog.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'm a shitty writer, and a crappy artist.

Or maybe it was crappy writer and shitty artist. 
Either way, the truth is debatable, but that's what one of my "friends" said in a comment on my facebook page.  To her credit the comment disappeared a moment later, replaced by an edited version- still insulting but somewhat less so.

 Baby Spewing Stars (mama with the blue hair)
This "friend" was someone I'd met years ago on the now defunct Ebay blogs ( a misnomer, as these "blogs" functioned more like a forum). Many of us spent a fair amount of time together in this online venue, sharing our lives, our successes, our heartbreaks, and most of all laughter.  So when Ebay did away with the blogs a bunch of us came together again on Facebook.  I estimate a quarter of my 300 or so facebook "friends" are from the old Ebay blog days, and there are maybe a dozen of those that I feel I know and like well enough to invite to my home should they ever be in my neighborhood.

But some, like the one referenced above, are less known to me.  Until the other day, anyway. When I expressed my honest opinion regarding a recent event. There were some to concurred and some who felt differently. I expected that. What I didn't expect, nor deserve, was the hatred and cursing and personal insults spewed on my "wall" from this one individual who had rarely, if ever, spoken to me prior to this day.

It would have been easy to delete her comments and to block her from posting on my wall, but I didn't do that. I left it alone, in part, I realized later, because I needed to experience and explore my feelings about the discomfort I felt at her venomous attack.  It surprised me- the degree of upset I felt- and I realized that I had to allow it. Kind of like falling- it hurts a lot more if you fight it, you end up breaking a leg instead of temporarily losing your dignity.  

So I let the ugly post live.  Eventually the ranter got tired of ranting, and- I thought this was funny- ended it by blocking me.

Here is what I learned:
I do not need to be liked by everyone.  In fact, since I wear my opinions on my sleeve, I will not be liked by everyone.

If I am to write, and create art, I willingly open myself to criticism, both constructive and psychotic in nature. 
Que sera, sera.

I am secure in the knowledge that I am a better writer than most of the people I know, and not half as good as any of those I read.  And that's okay with me.

As for my art? Well, she may have been right about that. But I don't pretend to make beautiful (or good) art; I create because the act of creating fulfills me. And, even here, I have my admirers.  

Here is my question for you- Do you put yourself "out there"? Do you worry about critics? Do you find that you are more or less willing to be vulnerable as you get older?  Are your feelings hurt by "friends" on Facebook or other social media, and if so, how do you deal?


  1. I am opinionated, but don't always put it out there in public. There's a group on FB called "Ghosting" that a friend pointed out to me, where you can go and "dump" posts that you've written, but don't actually hit "enter" to post. I dump stuff there on occasion. It's cathartic. I just try to stay away from politics and religion in general online ... they can be so incendiary, and I believe people are entitled to their own opinion ... of course that includes me, but where I am of the "live and let live" school of thought, I tend to get angry at the "cram their ideas down your throat" types (to them, there's two sides to a story, theirs and the wrong side).

    I am one of those eBay blog friends of yours ;) ... and I'm right there with you, at least a quarter of my FB friends are from there. However, where I started out with well over 300 on my list, I am under 200 ... most of those removed are from the blogs. Just because I knew someone there doesn't mean we have to stay in touch. I edit my friend list on a regular basis, and have a better insight into the "friends" I want to stay in touch with. The blogs were a blessing and a community in a LOT of ways. They were a godsend to me in the months and years after my husband died and I turned to eBay to supplement my savings and disability and keep food on my table and my bills paid. That was a desperate time, but you were one of the kind souls who was there with kind words and wise suggestions, and I thank you for that.

    You're right in that we don't need to be liked by everyone; in fact, it would be stressful to be liked by everyone. Sometimes it's easier to be disliked, because often that leaves you free to say whatever you like and are really thinking. At least it works that way for me.

    I missed the post with the person ranting at you (and don't see it in your feed), so I don't know who the person is ... I'm betting they weren't on my list ... I think twice and three times before adding anyone, especially from the blogs ... inevitably, a lot of us have drifted apart. I prefer the friendships that have gotten closer as we've discovered similar points of view and senses of humor.

    In the long run, I have become more outspoken as I've grown older and more likely to face critics head-on, though I don't seek out conflict. While I like a good discussion or debate as much as the next person, I'm not on Facebook to be attacked ... I'm there to keep in touch with friends and family. Disagreements are inevitable, but they don't need to become diatribes. We had no choice who could respond to us on the blogs, on FB we can pick and choose ... I like that.

    Oh, and btw ... you're neither crappy nor shitty ... then again, that's just my two cents <3

  2. Oh, Carole, Thank you. For all of it. The rant was a couple of weeks ago- I will message you- because you may or may not want/need to edit your list. I am so grateful for the good times on the ebay blogs- which helped me too- and so glad that you are a part of my online world. xoxo- vicky

  3. Usually what people are implying about you is HOW they feel about themselves or something they have on their mind. My grandmother was a english professer Came from rich family n married poor soo she faced n conqured a lot of diversity by simply not giving a damn what most people thought but payed close attention to how they really felt .her rule of thumb was never to speak of sex religion or politics wth total strangers unless you are better at debate then you are writing. Rage unexpected is scary. But should be expected. Our country was attacked feb 93 n sept 2011. I witnessed the first n sought help .some never had n for some seeing the second attack won't help. Our country is still woundedwith warriors. I sincerely hope I never feel that way again but remain warey there are many left like that. A good writer provokes thoughts n feelings n gets u thinking. You do that . Thanks.

  4. You are a wonderful writer and your creation "Baby Spewing Stars" is a remarkable work of art! Having little art education adds bunches to your art. At graduate school (going for a painting Master's Degree) one of the most important things was not to just produce works like the artist's you admire. Learning techniques and styles of different artists is important and makes one educated in the field, but Miro (I think it was Miro) said something to the effect "That to forget it all and create and see like a child is the greatest pursuit."

    There are all "levels" to professionalism in creating, but the act of doing it or wanting to do it is sometimes undertaken without outside guidance (classes etc.). The fact that you like to paint or write is all that matters, and I enjoy reading and seeing what you have to say or visualize through your art. We all could be "better" or "worse" at something, but by whose "yard stick" do you measure someone else's work?

    There are millions of different colors and each is perfect for a particular situation. You can say you hate a specific color or colors, but some day you might see them in a different "light" and love them.

    I once had a curator at an art show hang an abstract landscape painting I did upside down! I argued with him but ,set in his ways, he insisted (because dark recedes or whatever) it hang his way for the show. I took my painting off the wall and left.

    I enjoy your art and writing's and courage to stick to your principals. More should take whatever life courses you have learned from.

  5. I seriously heart you, Bill. Thank you. You are both a true ARTIST and a great friend.

  6. I like the part about being fulfilled by creating something regardless of it being deemed art or not. YOU are neither crappy or shitty in any way, young lady!

  7. Art is so subjective that you can't call it crappy. Everyone doesn't have the same consensus on a piece of art. I generally only consider my family and friend's opinions. But, I'm a person that has always had the attitude of "I don't really give a shit about your opinion because I'm going to be me and you can't stop me" That being said I've matured to the point where I respect a person's opinion but I don't budge from my own.

  8. Well, it is impossible to be liked by everyone, so why try to make everyone happy? I think it is much more productive to concentrate in what you believe is your way. The dogs will always bark anyway.

    On the other hand, people are subconsciously looking for approval all the time, so when they don't get it or even worse, when their efforts are met with disapproval they tend to suffer. Which is, after all good too, because it inspires and brings evolution.

    So, in any situation, you are the winner ;)

  9. Hmmm, I'm winning! lol, thanks for a great perspective.

  10. Hi Vicky! This is Mardi, and you posted on my blog today. "Fromhere2daydreams"

    I loved this blog. I can relate to everything you went through - I agree, putting yourself out there, and accepting the good and bad comments is the best way to live an artistic life, or any kind of life for that matter. We may not always get better at what we wanted to be better at, but we do become stronger. I find that it's that strength that pushes me through my "I want to give up" days.

    I also agree with everyone else here who says that you are a winner. *great big hug*

  11. Hi Vicky
    It's Nancy Jean -- thanks for stopping by my blog to enter my giveaway.

    It's a bit funny. I hardly ever finish reading a longish blog post, but I read yours straight through and wanted more. You're a damn good writer.

  12. Well, first of all you are not a shitty writer and a crappy artist. I believe we create most of all for ourselves or at least I do. I write a poem or a song and put it out there but by the time I do that, it doesn't matter to me (much) whether anyone publishes it or not. The fun and the energy and the excitement is in the creating.

    I mostly want everyone to love everything I create---but if they don't, that's o.k. too. I don't ever want it to bring me to a halt where I give up the creating or the putting it out there.

    I find that as someone on the brink of 78, I become less vulnerable. What other people think just doesn't matter as much. So keep writing---keep making art---keep being creative in any way you find, and eliminate shitty and crappy from your vocabulary when it pertains to your creations. ---ANN

  13. Hi Vicki :) I am from the ebay blogs too known as "Nevada" & I too miss those friendships it was just easier there to connect! I disagree with you being a crappy writer or artist ((hugs)). But I do agree with your assessments & I too have experianced some rants & they are not alot of fun! I have had to come to the same basic conclusions you have, but tend to keep more to myself. Facebook is ok, I but feel it is kinda disjointed & its.. not so much like the "now" relationships we had on the bay. I enjoyed reading this very much! Thank you Ruby :)