Tuesday, June 7, 2011

When Blogs Collide

Twenty-three years ago I was a devotee of Sassy magazine, and one of my favorite staff writers there was Christina Kelly. She was a young hipster who understood me. She wrote like I wanted to write, with honesty an a lack of pandering to her target demographic.

Just last week I came to find that Ms. Kelly writes a blog, Fallen Princess, and is also a contributor to xojane, the blog by Sassy's original editor-in-chief, Jane Pratt. Finding CK's blog was like finding an old issue of Sassy in an attic trunk, unread but entirely familiar.

Since anyone who loves Christina Kelly has a working brain, I not only read her blog but I read every single reader comment. One spoke directly to me in a way that only a fellow Sassyite could.

Now, a while ago I wrote a post on this here blog that a couple readers took offense to. Instead of writing coherent comments to me, they decided it would be cooler to bombard me with juvenile insults. I never addressed them directly nor the event on the blog, though a few of my readers nicely defended me. What annoyed me was not just their inability to articulate what their issue was with my writing, but that they totally missed my point. And for a little while I thought that maybe what I'd written just wasn't clear enough...as if it was an error on my part that THEY had a negative reaction to my words.

A reader/commenter named Marianne on Christina Kelly's blog made me see the situation differently. She told Ms. Kelly,
"Your writing has always been honest. Sometimes a bit brutally honest, and sometimes people can't handle that, and so they choose to just think of that writer as the problem, instead of examining why they are having such a hard time with the writing."

I realized it wasn't my words that they were reacting to, it was my TRUTH.
MY truth.
Something I said made them examine themselves in a way that wasn't comfortable. But it wasn't wrong of me to write it. Those words were as honest as they come and I stand by them, even more so now.

I never cease to be amazed at how much Sassy has influenced my life. Its former writers are little spirits of inspiration who show themselves in the most unexpected of times. Twenty years later even a fellow Sassy reader can help re-ignite the passion for writing that Christina Kelly and the others spurred on in me back then. I speak the truth.

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