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. ;)

Most Influential Blogger Award

Our Billy Shakespeare said it best: ‘Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.’

I’d be hard pressed to claim that shards-of-silence was forged in the fires of greatness: it was an accident – a serendipitous accident certainly, but an accident nonetheless. For me it all started with a Confession… and while – chance and hard work willing – I may do some great things with it in the future, for now at least that time seems quite a long way away. This may be why I am both surprised and somewhat humbled to receive the Most Influential Blogger award. So… Thank you sweetness6645 for thrusting greatness upon me and for deeming me worthy of the accolade. I can’t help thinking that I don’t quite deserve it yet, but I promise to do my best in time to justify your choice. Thank you.

Before I move on to the next, I’d like to say that Chronicles of a Public Transit User is my blog of choice whenever I need a little cheering up. Whenever on leave from our secret agent dalliances on Twitter, fellow HRM agent and partner in crime codename 6645 gathers humorous evidence on public transport’s most ill-mannered users. Snapshots of the worst offenders are available on her blog for your funny bone’s delight. Enjoy.

most-influential-blogger1. Display the award on your blog.
2. Announce your win with a post and thank the blogger who awarded you.
3. Present 10 deserving bloggers with the Award.
4. Link your awardees in the post and let them know of their being awarded with a comment.
5. Answer each of the 11 questions that your awarder asked, and then write 11 for your awardees (or use the same ones up to you !)

6645 Q&A with Vic a.k.a 009
Q1. What makes you happiest?

There are many things that make me very happy, but most of them are not for the accidental reader’s eyes so… I’ll have to say writing. Writing for me is more than committing sentences to paper. It is more than inventing new world and creating memorable characters. To write I have to engage with the world – and that to me is an inexhaustible source of enjoyment and happiness too.

Q2. Do you love the Oceans or Mountains more?

I will say oceans, although it’s a tough ask to choose.

Q3. What has been a special moment in 2013?

Reconnecting with someone from the past, who has always been dear to me, but with whom I’d lost contact.

Q4. What’s your favourite quote?

“Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Q5. Do you like yourself?

We have a difficult relationship, me and I. Sometimes we are on the same page. At other times we find it difficult to be in the same room. But one thing’s for sure. Will always stick by one another through thick and thin. 😉

Q6. Do you stay up till midnight on New Year?

Doesn’t everyone?

Q7. Something you wish could be done ASAP?

Finishing revision on my thesis.

Q8. What was your favourite class when still at school?

I’ve been lucky enough to have more than one favourite. If I had to pick just the one… Let it be “Logic.”

Q9. What musical instrument have you tried to play?

Violin. Piano was my second choice, but I changed schools soon after I started and only got a few month’s worth of study. I’ve picked it up again last year inspired by an accidental meeting with someone who played, and I have to say: loving every moment.

Mad Hatter VQ10. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?

Whiskey drinking. It’s my retirement plan, but I still haven’t got the hang of it.

Q11. Do you like to do Crafts, Drawing or Painting?

I’ve made my own Mad Hatter hat for a Halloween party a couple of years ago and that was fun. I do sketch sometimes, although I would love to be better at drawing people. 

My nominees:

Opinionated Man who has accomplished an incredible feat with his HarsH ReaLiTy

Sreejit Poole the keeper of the spiritual heart of The Seeker’s Dungeon

Jennifer who is on an artistic journey through Writings of a Mrs

Mrs Holder’s Legacy where one will always find a humorous review and much more.

Andy Kaufman’s Kavalkade Krew hunts for trolls and won’t hesitate to help you in need.

Bradley‘s insightful posts on How Is Bradley? about mental health and depression.

The team at Birthday Magazine are very versatile in their offerings and worth a visit.

One day he will be known as one of the greats of his generation. PhotoArt: Taylor J.  

DottaRaphels is not afraid of speaking her mind. And a wonderful mind it is too.

Cheryl-Lynn aka Tao who writes relentlessly to Stop the Stigma

My questions for you:

1. If you could change one thing about our society, what would it be?

2. What do you turn to when in need of inspiration?

3. Name one person, alive or dead, who has influenced you most.

4. What newspaper, if any, do you read on a regular basis?

5. Share one key insight that has helped you most in your writing.

6. Are rules made to be broken?

7. What does democracy stand for as far as you’re concerned?

8. Is freedom of speech an unalienable right?

9. If we respect everyone’s opinion as valid, where does that leave hate speech?

10. Do you think online media will replace print in the next few decades?

11. What is the main thing you want to achieve as a blogger?