I took down a blog post today. I made a pretty big mistake in taking a critique of a book and making a personal attack. I am sure sorry that I did that. I sure don’t want to be that kind of writer. I probably made a bunch of other mistakes in that post too, but the blogosphere goes fast, and I can’t process them all fast enough to tell you about them now.
Here’s what I can tell you, though. Media Bistro linked here today – and it’s a blog and community that I really respect. And CareerJournal.com is featuring this blog on Monday. And I really don’t want any of those people to think the blog is about personal attacks and controversy.
This is what I think my blog is about: Community.
People have always asked me why I write every day about career advice. I mean, there are more glamorous topics in the world, for sure. I tell those people, first of all, that my career saved me at lots of very bad moments in my life, and I’m grateful that I have it to fall back on, and I want other people to have that, too.
But the other reason I write is because I want to be happy in my life, and I know that somehow, my career is involved in that, and I am not totally sure the best way to do it, and I want a community of people around me who are also trying to figure this out. I want us to do it together.
So, you can see that the post I deleted (well, if you saw it at all) is not turning out to be in line with my vision for my writing life. I wish I had never even thought of writing a personal attack. I can only tell you that I’ve learned a lesson. Maybe ten lessons.
To be honest, I am used to having an editor reining me in, which I don’t have on the blog. And it makes me nervous all the time. At Business 2.0 my editor told me never to write about sex, ever. At Warner Books, my editor took out two fat references and told me that no one wants to hear me writing about fat.
I sure wish I had listened to her.
At Yahoo, the readers write in scathing comments every week, (Example: “Terrible advice but I’d take her for something else.” Yes. I’m not kidding.) But it never bothers me. The comments are so absurd that I know the people are not part of my community.
The comments I got today were thoughtful, heartfelt, and definitely were from people I consider part of my community. So, in an effort to keep us all on the right track – looking for how to do work and life in a way that makes us happy – I deleted this post. And you should know that I’m not above taking some advice, either.