I have been having interesting reactions to this blog so far. Some have taken the posts in the nature in which they are intended, to be interesting and lighthearted. These people will send laughter-filled comments and well-meaning barbs. Others have gotten angry or hurt or angry and hurt. This was never my intention. I was commenting about it to a colleague the other morning and she said something that really resonated with me. She told me I had better get used to it. I was confused, which she could tell by my expression. She clarified, “Your book is coming out. People are going to react to it in a number of ways. Some will love what you have to say and some will hate it”. That really resonated with me. I hadn’t really thought about the specific reactions people might have to what I have written. I was so focused on getting the book done, not necessarily what would happen next.
When I was in final editing for my book (Life Lessons for the Teenage Girl: Quotes, Advice and Inspiration for Women by Women), the various people who were reviewing the book had a number of reactions about the contributors I included within the book. The objections were to various individuals, either because of their histories or lifestyles. One example is the editor who asked me not to include Jenny McCarthy because she had appeared in men’s magazines and specifically had taken nude photos. I understood my editor’s concerns, but this wasn’t what the book was about for me. Jenny McCarthy provided amazing advice I wanted to pass on to my readers. I did not want to limit who was able to participate. There are women of various sexual orientations, ethnicities, races, religions, backgrounds, and careers. Some may have made “mistakes” in their pasts, but it is not up to me to decide whether or not their behaviors were mistakes or not. They may have no regrets. I was looking for diverse women offering positive advice. I did filter out a few contributors to the book, but these were not based on my value judgments about their lives, but whether what they said was appropriate for me to share with my readers. (Maybe I’ll have an NC-17 outtake book some day in the future).
I hope readers (of this blog and the book) will enjoy what I have to say. I hope they will be interested, but also find something new to take away from the experience. I am working on growing a thicker skin, so I can allow their reactions to be heard without taking it personally. Still a work in progress.