Words

Thursday, 20 October 2011

reading material

It's been a tough week for me, personally. I don't speak about my personal life on this blog, because I'm essentially a private person. But I've reached a state of exhaustion where I simply have to confess, it's been a bad week. I've been grateful for words so much over the past few days. I've retreated into them, clung to them. These are the days when I'm convinced that writing isn't just a series of abstract letters, but is solid flesh and bones.

Can I ask anyone who reads this blog a huge favour? If you do send me an email, please consider that there is a similarly solid human being behind the writing on this blog. I don't want to curb the emails I get, or seem ungrateful, it's just I sometimes think people forget there is a person behind these posts. On weeks like this one where I'm already feeling vulnerable for other reasons, I struggle to comprehend the point of emails telling me that someone doesn't have time to read long posts. It's your prerogative not to read my posts, that's fine. It's also your prerogative to primarily derive pleasure from the images I display here, rather than the words. I don't dictate to people how to enjoy blogs. But it's my prerogative to feel entirely discouraged when you choose to send me an email blithely stating these things, as if writing means nothing to me. Let's keep our kind hats on, please. I do have feelings. I sometimes wonder whether it's wise to even raise such a topic publicly. But this is my little haven after all, and I think it's fair to request courtesy.

A few things have made me feel quite grateful though over the past week. Erica from Royal Quiet Deluxe asked me to participate in her regular Tuesday interviews with writers, and of course, I agreed. I really enjoyed this interview because Erica's questions made me think. And thanks to The Green Apple Core for posting this interview on their blog. Have a read here. Also, Diana posted about the collaborative music mix she asked a bunch of other bloggers and I to participate in. I really enjoyed everyone's picks. My contribution is Crowded House's 'Private Universe'. I love the video clip for this song too. And when you're watching it, listen to the lyrics and how they interact with the images. Magic.

P.S. Despite the somewhat gloomy tone of this post, for which I apologise, I am still astounded by the thoughtful comments on this blog, and the wonderful people it has put me in touch with. I will concentrate on that, rather than the negative aspects.

36 comments:

Olga said...

really sad reading this, people are just SO WEIRD sometimes, it's beyond me. I hope things are better with you, the emails like that I not worth your time.

nancy said...

I agree with Olga - some people are strange. in your little corner of the internet you will write whatever, in which ever format, and for however long you choose. we're the ones choosing to be here.

andrea despot said...

so sad that you've had to experience such negativity! that's kinda strange that someone would actually take the time to send you an email saying they don't want to read your posts, but won't take the time to actually read them! i don't understand the point of that! it really astounds me!

Joy said...

How horrible. I guess I'm still in the honeymoon phase where people have yet to sat anything unkind to me yet. I am sure you are able to recover from this but it shocks me that there can be such senseless, careless people out there who have the audacity to insult you so.

Marie said...

I like your long posts :)

Sasha said...

If I were ever to send you an email it would be nothing but praise. Your blog has been an unending source of much needed written inspiration. I appreciate all the work you put into your blog and I really appreciate your willingness to share such thought provoking and beautiful things (and the negative things too). Thank you!

And I do hope that the week closes better than it's been so far.

lizzie said...

HILA! i can't even BELIEVE why anyone would say that to you!? your "long posts" are why i read your blog. you are thoughtful...intelligent...i learn things from your blog...there are plenty of blogs that i follow for recycled inspiration and curation from other creative sources...i read your blog because of your words...and the images are a perk. i hope your week gets better.

pRiyA said...

on a good week you will look back and wonder why you ever let this affect you at all.
I always look forward to your succinct and thoughtful posts. your words and the way you use them have always been an inspiration.

Sundari said...

Your blog is one of my favourite blogs out there. I always envy your beautiful use of words and the way you can communicate so effortlessly through your posts. It makes my style of writing look like I'm still learning basic grammar. I hope you feel better soon. If it's any consolation even the darkness in some of your posts are still beautiful to read.

Siubhan said...

So sorry to hear about this. I'm entirely baffled by people who send emails like that – I have no idea what they hope to achieve. For my part, I always admire the way you present what are often huge topics or ideas so succinctly.

I really do hope that the rest of the week improves for you.

Enia Is (Almost) Here said...

hang in there sister. they know not what they do....

Danielle P. said...

There's only one way to respond to this type of email: the "delete" button!

Thea said...

There will always be spiteful comments and emails, unfortunately. But I think the best you can do is not to pay too much attention to them. It's your blog, after all. If a person does not like your longer posts, they do not need to read them. Simple. I hope there are always more positive than negative comments, which should be a great encouragement.

Petra said...

I don't believe this, did someone seriously bother to send you an email saying your posts are too long??? I know there is a lot of spite around, and many people using the anonymity the internet provides to be rude, but seriously, the length of your posts!!?? that's like eating icecream and then complaining it was too cold...

I'm sorry that's been happening. and simply ignoring emails like this is easier said than done. don't let it get to you too much xxx

Jane Flanagan said...

I don't always have time to read long posts when I come across them. But I tuck them away so I can savor them later on.

I know the effort goes into writing and how moving words can be given the right attention. It does make me critical of readers (attention span, willingness to work to have an experience), but I try to temper this reaction and understand we're not all the same.

Like you said, it's everybody's prerogative to be the kind of reader, or blogger they want or are able to be. When those things overlap, there can be a lovely meeting of minds. When they don't, it seems silly and rude to demand otherwise. People need to settle down with all the "shoulding"!

Caitlin Rose said...

oh Hila, I'm feeling sad this week too. perhaps it's something in the air. I've been reading in order to escape into somewhere else.

Anyway, I hope you can find the strength to forget about that email, I'm sure if it had happened during a week when you weren't already feeling sad you would laugh about it. And I love your blog, I love how you pay attention to words when most other blogs (including my own) use them so lightly and without thought.

have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

Just so you know, I read your blog on a regular basis and I always find it intriguing specifically because the WRITING is well-thought out, intelligent, informative, and concise. It is so refreshing to read a blog that has both inspiring photos and inspiring posts (I often find you can't have both in the blogging world). I studied art history when I was in school, so I really appreciate a lot of your visual analyses and reviews about art that you write about. I also appreciate the interesting connections you draw between art, poetry, literature, and film. I find that your blog is a great source for me to feel inspired and to learn about new film, or art, or literature to check out. I love that you put yourself out there and express the things you love. As one of your readers, I love those things too! Keep on writing!

Caro said...

I am enamored by your posts. I always try to make sure I have time to read your posts. If that means marking Apartment Therapy posts as read without reading them or not watching an episode of The Daily Show I'll do it. I feel you write with purpose and depth, I would gladly rework how my time is allotted to relish in your posts.

I hope your week improves!

melancholyswan.com said...

It's amazing how some can forget that there is a human being behind the blog. I get the same type of thing from students occasionally who forget that their professors are human beings for whom cruel, blunt criticism stings just as much for me as it does for them.

Hila, I adore your long posts! I visit your blog (and Jane's too) not to see what pretty pictures you have chosen, but for you and your thoughtful writing.

ailsa said...

i'm not sure how anyone could possibly find anything bad in your blog, especially in an age where the internet is over-saturated with uncredited images with no meaning - your blog is always somewhere i know i can find content that has obviously been created with a great deal of love and care, that is also thought provoking and often encourages me to stop and think for a few moments longer than i might have initially intended too. which is something i always feel better after doing.

Blue and the Girl said...

It is very fine and very Wise to raise these feelings!!
This is - after all - Your space! And we are here because we enjoy it!
Those who raise issue or criticism - perhaps - are reflecting something of their own issue.
Well done for making your feelings clear so graciously!
M

See Hear Say said...

but it's really good that you brought this up hila because this is all really upsetting! it's constructive feedback that we're after but what happened to you is really not cool. i just don't understand people sometimes, what is it their problem - you like one thing that fits you then it's great, if you don't like something then you move on with something else and it's as easy as that.

so sorry to hear this happened to you :( please do not let this discourage you to keep going with your blog or writing hila, your blog is just perfect as it is xx

balladofseasons said...

loool This is REALLY interesting! How come people can criticize others about putting what percentage of what on their blogs? After all, here is your place and we're the guests who are happy to come and say hi sometime. I mean no one is obliged to click if s/he doesn't want to..

I have lack of time to read long posts in general (because of my work) but I try to spend time reading them cuz they sometimes tell deeper things than images after all.

Hila! do as you like girl! :))

lots of kisses xo
Betül

http://balladofseasons.blogspot.com/

Monica said...

sorry it's been tough. i've had a tough week too, so i empathise.

as for such emails, as a philosophical thinker i would be highly amused that someone found the need to send me such information. depends how they worded it. if it was merely a kind bit of feedback, then it's my vulnerability that might be hit. but if it's like, suggesting i ought to change my blog or such, well, how funny. how hilarious that someone thinks so highly of their opinion. lol

hope you have a weekend full of love. self-nurturing too.

P R I M O E Z A said...

there's something in the air. i've had a terrible week too! and i've heard of others. we'll have a better one next week xo.

MissJW said...

i always look forward to your posts. your gift as a writer and the insight you have-- especially in regards to some of my favorite books-- are a constant inspiration for me. i hope that you are encouraged by the other kind comments here. in the meantime, keep your chin up!

Amelia said...

When I read your posts I feel so inspired and I always think how I should better my English and better myself to be a more mindful human being. You have a good head on your shoulders and I am pretty sure you inspire and teach people a lot.

I am unfortunately unable to imagine how and why a person would write you a mean spirited email. My imagination fails me. But don't let people like that bring them down. Take a break from your inbox if you need to.

Emily Vanessa said...

Oh I'm so shocked to hear about these emails. If people don't like something, why bother to read it, let alone take the time to inform you. As a fellow blogger who also writes long posts, I can understand if people switch off after a while but I don't need to know. Luckily these people are clearly in the minority so don't let these haters bring you down. You're so talented and such a great writer! Great interview with you; I was named after Emily Bronte so Wuthering Heights has always had a fascination for me too and I've often looked at The History of Love, wondering if I'd like it. Now I'm going to order a copy. Take care.

hila said...

Thanks guys. Wow, I had an exhausting week. The exhaustion is still lingering. But these comments were so nice to read. Really, thank you so much, I feel better after having read them all.

rooth said...

I hope positive thoughts and words continue to flow your way and you discard negative emails the way you would junk mail. Thanks for always providing some interesting food for thought on the blogosphere.

PS - SIRI is the new personal assistant application on iPhones that is voice activated. It will pull up things for you and call people you ask it to, in addition to many other things. It is also my sister's name backward =)

VIVA.V said...

It is only spiteful, bitter and soul hating people who has this type of mindset to begin with. What puzzles me is that if they don't have time to read your posts, why even bother to waste time sending you a message?? Bitter people only feel good in others miseries...what a sad life to live. Continue writing and sharing your exquisite entries sugar, there will always be others who will appreciate your posts - Like me, following your lovely blog! Do come and visit me X

C.ULT FRIDAY.

hila said...

thank you, thank you, thank you. a big hug to you all.

p.s. rooth: ah, I see. I don't have an iphone, so I had no idea what people were talking about when they mentioned SIRI :) thanks for clearing it up for me.

Felix Curds said...

wow, it seems i've a lot of catching up to do on your blog, hila. i can't believe some people; in my opinion, the people who don't enjoy your posts are the same types that say 'ceebs' and enjoy jeggings... horrible lemmings!

hila said...

haha, that's funny. don't get me started on jeggings :) or celebs for that matter ... anyway, thank you my dear, I'm ok.

Anonymous said...

I usually don't leave comments but I felt the need after reading this. I love this blog, I read it often, and sometimes reread entries because of their insight, sensitivity, and voice. Thank you for writing with candor and vulnerability.

hila said...

anonymous: thank you for leaving this comment, I really appreciate it, and it makes my day when people reveal such things to me.