The eye of the beholder

Let’s Talk Opinion in conversation with lindaghill

“A fool once told me, after I started blogging, that it was useless to think the ‘like’ button on WordPress was anything but a way for others to make me read their work. She told me that the comments I received were worthless. Drivel. Dishonest. That I couldn’t believe anything but that which was brutal, because praise was purely selfish.” A Special Thank You


I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that Linda‘s advisor was a veritable cynic. I can taste bitterness in those words and it saddens me that anyone should have been hardened against the world to such an extent. What is more, that they should taint another’s entry into the blogosphere with their own brush of disappointed hopes.

Why do we blog? Each of us will have their own reasons. I find that most blogs on WordPress at least have the feel of journals to them, whether they come in the form of writing, photography or another form of artistic expression – everyone is generous in what they share, and the support they offer to other bloggers in the community.

For this is what we are: a community.

Getting feedback on what we write is a vital stepping stone in our journey as writers or artists. At times “feedback” appears to have a negative connotation precisely because the word is associated with criticism rather than with positive, constructive feedback that could help one do better. After all, in a schoolroom or university classroom, wrongs are corrected, but as for what we got right…

However, I find that the opposite is the case here. As far as constructive feedback goes, most bloggers take time to write thoughtful and honest comments. If there is any expectation of reciprocation – I don’t see that as a negative. Relationships – even virtual ones – can only thrive when there is a balance between the giving and taking.

My experience on WordPress is similar to Linda’s: “I’ve found kindness and acceptance. I’ve found people with whom I share things in common. …I’ve found more honesty here at WordPress than I could possibly have hoped for. I’ve found brilliant insight, read fantastic rants, and taken in beautifully creative fiction and poetry.”

Here is what I have learnt about you in the past four months since I’ve joined WordPress:

You genuinely care and this is reflected in the way you interact with others.

Whenever a story speaks to you, you are generous in sharing your own stories and lessons learnt from personal experience.

You are honest and considerate in your comments, even when you disagree with an opinion or the way a view is expressed.

All in all, you are wonderful and I am grateful to be able to number myself amongst you.

Thank you for being you!

A happy holiday season to you all, amazing people.


Let’sTalk Opinion posts engage with issues that are important to other bloggers, connecting with others on matters close to their heart. If you like a topic and would like to contribute, please feel free to add to the comment box, reblog, share, email or message me on Twitter @shardsofsilence.

Or if you happen to be a fellow Hogwartsian send me a letter by owl. ;)

44 thoughts on “The eye of the beholder

  1. Thank You Vic. And Happy Holiday season to you too. And glad to know you too as I had already mentioned once.
    I have had a great time in WP till now, but I do feel bad when people I follow are targeted.

    • Thank you, KG, and I hope that you are well and having a wonderful end to the year. Where does the time go? I am away at the moment so my replies will be coming somewhat delayed, although I’ll do my best to keep posting and reading as well. xx

  2. My BFF told me a poem a while back that I like to share when we talk about what people like you contribute to me by communicating with me, through whatever medium it is. It goes
    ” I sought my soul and could not see,
    I sought my Ggod and he eluded me,
    I sought my brother(sister) and found all three.”
    Thank you dear friend. When the days get shorter, life gets a little harder for those with depression. Places like this make the day better.
    Happy holidays to you and yours!

    • I am touched and very happy that my words have helped to make a difference to you. Hope your holiday season will be filled with joy. Many thanks and warm regards, shoe100 x

  3. I find criticism sometimes useful (if it’s correct) but the big pat on the back and encouragement given on WordPress to be infinitely more helpful. The thing most people lack is confidence and all that’s needed is a well done. (It doesn’t cost a thing, but can be life changing)

    • There is certainly a place for constructive criticism, of course. I never shy away from it and always try to learn and better my writing. Some are better at delivering it than others. Thank you, Richard. I like your comment about confidence – it can make or break a writer.

  4. I read Linda’s original post and, whilst I can understand the cynical view expressed by her ‘advisor’ (as you put it), I have to agree whole-heartedly with your position, Vic. WordPress has offered an out-let for my own writing and has allowed me to find and experience a wealth of creative talent which I would otherwise have remained ignorant of. I have found the comments that I have received both encouraging and stimulating in equal measure, and have tried my best to leave comments on other posts which are both positive and constructive. Great post, and, as ever, I look forward to reading more.
    Take care and have a happy holiday.

    • Thank you, Chris. I am always glad to read your comments. You think deeply and challenge me to search for alternative perspectives. Always a pleasure. Have a wonderful holiday season and I hope you will find it inspiring.

  5. Wow. Thank you for this post. I have just rediscovered my love for writing/blogging due to a series of events that happened to me recently. It has really helped me deal and heal. I chose to hide behind a nom de plume but I just love meeting new people and personalities here. It does give me a sense of community, albeit a virtual one. I’m, glad to know that I am not alone in this.
    Happy holidays! Peace and love. 🙂

  6. Such a person would certainly never find themselves the star of #VB009 now would they.

    Such a cynic. Haha.

    Happy Holidays, Agent 009, Princess Vic Le’ Brick;House. haha. 😉

      • Did you zoom up 5? LoL. The main artery skips the 5th largest town in CA.

        99 is old slow and poorly maintained. Haha.

      • Probably so, the westside of the valley up through the grapevine from LA. Fastest way to go. hehe.

      • Haha… Hope you don’t get snowed in for a day or so.

        Have been stuck in Tahoe or Reno for an extra day on more than one occasion….

        Makes scheduling international flights a bit of a gamble, lol…

        Worse things can happen than having to have a white christmas vacation in Tahoe though and being stuck there… haha.

      • For some reason I was unable to view the video you attached for a while. It appeared as a dark black rectangle. Not sure why… Hotel California. Yes. That brings back memories…

  7. I clicked “Like” but I swear it’s because I like your post. 🙂 I like WordPress and other blogs because of all the openness and honesty as well. Its made me grow as a person and helped guide me to be as open and honest as I can. Thank you for blogging, Vic, I always look forward to your posts.

    • Thank you, Bradley. I always enjoy reading your posts, and I promise you that whenever I press like it is because I like them too 🙂 I’m away at the moment so it is tricky keeping up with my reading, but I will be back in force come the new year. Have a great holiday and hope you are taking some time for yourself too. x

  8. That person is a bit cynical, I read from poetry, to funny things, sex things, pure Literature things, blogs that show only pictures, people who talk about mental illness, people who talk about their lifes, you name it. Why? Because I like it. Because I find it funny, other times it makes me think, I learn new things, other times they illuminate me to things I didn´t know about.
    I have a saying… that you want to know as much as you can even though you´ll use a quarter of it.
    It´s true that I´ve found myself communicating with people that have the same interest like me, and have met very nice people that we correspond through private e-mail. But it is equally true that I found people I have nothing in common with them, and that´s fine. Because I learn from them, or find it amusing or interesting what they write about, or even fashion, yep clothes. I don´t have a clue about fashion, but sometimes I get ideas from reading some of their writing or just seeing a photo. And they seem, not all of course, but they seem to find some of my crazy writing amusing since their following me. Just a thought.

  9. 1. The person quoted was obviously a cynic (evidently with some personal issues). Her emotional assessment indeed sounds quite off but she is onto something factual. WP is set up SO THAT the likes, follows, comments introduce bloggers to one another. Human nature being what it is, there certainly can be abuse of any good thing. But as you say, many of us capitalize on the opportunities for relationship in a beneficial and beneficent way.

    2. I considered a post along the lines of what you bring up here. It’s a comment box, a reply box, we are given to work with. Not a praise box (and I disagree that most people put up negativity or it’s all out of selfishness). What I mean is you’re among the minority of bloggers who welcome feedback for better or worse, in humble, secure receptivity. Seems most bloggers are afraid to leave anything but rave reviews on others’ boards. I will sound cocky. So be it: not all works of prose and poetry is mind-blowingly awesome out here. But you rarely see honest critique that really would do service on an art (used gen’ll) forum. The rare times I make a suggestion on anyone’s blog, it’s to toss a possibility for the blogger/writer to consider. It’s not to belittle. I mean only to be helpful with the kind of feedback I would welcome.

    • Dear Diana, thank you – thoughtful as always. I am sure that anyone who has interacted with you on WordPress knows that your feedback is always constructive. I am always glad to have a comment from you – a new perspective, an alternative viewpoint – both helpful and thought-provoking.

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