Friday, June 16, 2006

Giving Feedback

So the other day I got some feedback on my blogging/writing. My friend said, “I don’t write comments on your blog because, well, you have said it all. You have gotten to the point and made it powerfully. What is there to add?” My posts don’t invite feedback (which in and of itself is a form of feedback, should I choose to see and read it). And I am reminded of 5 years ago when I was going through treatment (no, not everything reminds me of treatment, but when it does, I try to get it down on, well, keyboard). I guess I have a forceful personality, or so I have been told, although on certain days I can’t really see it. At any rate I have a clear personality, and when I have made up my mind I am a determined person and not too much gets in my way (except for, occasionally, myself). And apparently it can be hard to give me feedback or instruction, or direction (I have even heard that people can be afraid of me, can you imagine, little ol’ me? But that is another post).

I must tell you, that among my most powerful memories of cancer and treatment was a day that my friend Jen and I were sitting chatting. And I had, probably earlier that week at a Team Signy meeting, tried to impress upon my team/friends the fact that just because I sound clear, just because I know my mind, just because I contradict your suggestions, well, it doesn’t mean that I am right. And I want - in fact, I need - them to stand up to me, to be willing to say their perspective louder, to not stop at “I don’t think so” coming out of my mouth. Have an opinion, stick to it, see what happens. Well, Jen, being Jen did that in her own way. Who knows what we were talking about in general, but somewhere in there I suspect that I said that I was tired (this was during chemo and tired was standard fair, especially close to my nadir). I just said it in passing. But a few minutes later Jen got up, and ushered me into the other room. I got up, curious as to the point she wanted to make. Then, when we arrived in the bedroom, she walked up to the bed, pulled back the sheets pointed under the covers and said (with no wiggle room in her voice) “Get in”. At my quizzical look she said (again, just as decisively as before) “It is time for you to take a nap.” Oh my god, how great was that. So clear. And delivered with humour, the ultimate tool against and way to penetrate my ego certainty. Naturally, I got into bed and I slept, even with a guest there that I thought I ought to be entertaining. Even with the fun of a friend there that I wanted to hang out with. I love her different perspective, I love that she made me listen, I love that she questioned what I thought I knew. And I love the way she did it.

Please give me feedback, on this post and others. Your perspective adds to the mix, it changes the dynamics, it curls people’s toes. What else could be more important? And maybe you don’t have anything to say on/about my posts, fine, but go speak up where ever you do have an opinion and something to say. The world needs to hear it!


At 12:02 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't comment because I'm at work and feel that I ought not spend too much time writing for myself.

At 11:09 AM PDT, Blogger Signy said...

Good point! Thanks for letting me know though.

At 4:52 PM PDT, Anonymous deb said...

When I first started blogging I thought that if I didn't get comments I wasn't doing "my job" as a blogger. Even though I had no real idea why I was doing it - (just for me and creative expression it turns out ...) - I had watched other blogs and thought it was cool that there were so many comments from regular "followers" and I wanted to be an adored blogger too. ;)

And then I started getting comments and feeling adored, but over time I found myself "writing for them" - even though my big powerful Deb self would LOATH to do anything like that. But do it I did. I had an audience - I wanted them to like me.

And then I realized that I was getting annoyed at some of the comments: "hang in there" they'd say, when I'd said nothing that even remotely initmated that I was suffering and I thought: "What the fuck? ... is there some victimy thing coming through, or are they just being kind cause they are reading between lines that have no ulterior meaning?"


I finally accepted that people will say what they want when the want to and they will feel what they want when they want to and my job is to keep on writing cause that's what I do.

Funny, the comments have decreased on my blog recently - sometimes I think I willed them away so I could get back to writing without influence, but for whatever reason, I find that the comments that I DO get these days seem to come forth genuinely.

Now here's the thing: I think you probably wrote this post to invite dialogue and my comment may be totally inappropriate given what you were going for (how bout that? maybe i'm reading between lines for meaning that isn't there ...) , but to quote the old Al Franken character of Stewart Smalley "... that's OK."

Methinks it's all about keepin' on shining clear and brightly out here in the blogosphere (and in life). Your readers (including moi) will say what they want, or not. And we'll wonder what they think (cause we're human) and we'll like it or we won't. But we'll keep on writing cause that's what we do.

Oh yeah, and hang in there Signy. ;)



At 9:28 PM PDT, Blogger Signy said...

Oh Deb, you are so powerful, insightful and just plain exciting!

Yes, inviting dialogue, and your contribution to the dialogue is the very thing that starts new lines of conversation, be that in person, on paper, or in my head.

And a good and timely reminder for me, "They will think what they think, write what they write" and frankly it is none of my business. I find it easy to forget that, al anon attending, codependent, double leo that I am.

On top of it all, you make me laugh. And maybe that is the best part. Thanks for piping in when you had the urge. Full permission.

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