Not everybody appreciates all I have to say.
Thankfully my daughter Buck and my fiancee Guy both have the same superpower: The ability to see my faults and immediately correct them with their eye rolls-which emit the deadly “flares of disdain.”
When you’re as obnoxious as Guy and Buck seem to think I am AND you publish as much writing as I do, people can get sick of hearing your voice. So flares are nothing new to me.
But more on flares in a moment.
It seems that in the coming weeks, much of the United States will begin to re-open for business. Even “Ground Zero” of the Covid-19 is pandemic; the New York metropolitan area, is beginning to come back to life.
Or at least life as I define it: the paint stores are reopening!
A friend of mine and I were texting the other day. He sent me a screenshot of a social media post he had seen where someone had “flared” me. Quoting Annette Benning speaking to POTUS Michael Douglass in the movie “The American President” the “flarer” said I had ”lost his vote!”
Not exactly Biggie versus Tupac, but we are def beefin’!
My friend ask me how I felt about the criticism and negative attention on social media-there for all to see?
I am trying hard to create a body of work for y’all here (shout-out to James). I take pride in my work and in what I put my name (and picture) on. It’s for you, and I want you to like it! And so when you don’t, I’m disappointed.
But I do understand!
And actually think it’s cool that I get the occasional flare. Mark Twain said, “The public is the only critic who’s opinion is worth anything at all” and I believe that as well. When I write, I am sharing my opinion on a topic. I never feel like my views on an issue are the only opinions out there! I’m not trying to BE the conversation, just start it!
And because alternative perspectives are an important part of any conversation, I encourage people to disagree with me and publish your thoughts-and tag me in them all you want!
What writer does not dream about having engaged readers?
But readers who send me a private email saying, “I don’t agree” are different from flares. Flares are a writer making an effort to use the social media platform bring attention to themselves or their issue in what they feel is the best way to do that.
Kinda like what I do here twice a week, so-respect!
You cannot have a voice, without expecting to be criticized. Some people will make that criticism personal.
But flares only mark a moment in time, and time changes most things. Even opinions!
The first flare I ever got was over 25 years ago; an old-school “Letter to the Editor!” As I sat down to write this, just for fun I re-read my response to that first flare 25-years ago. It began “I am always glad when something I write hits a nerve.”