I do not like confrontations.
When I first started blogging, almost six years ago, I made sure to never write a post that might offend someone. I wanted people to like my blog, and I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. So my first blog was -- boring. Seriously boring. When I morphed over to this blog, I decided enough was enough; if I step on toes, I will apologize for doing that, but I will not apologize for my own personal opinions and beliefs. I did however, wonder how I would handle negative comments from readers. I had never had that, and part of me wondered if I would react badly to the situation. I've watched Jenna Woginrich over at Cold Antler Farm handle her amount of flack with impressive grace; that woman has more patience that I could ever have! But could I handle negative remarks in the same manner?
Well, as of today I have found the answer to my questions, and that is: I really don't mind it.
Apparently one of my blog posts on Mother Earth News has a few people up in arms over my writing. The content of their words was no where near what Jenna has been enduring, but they were accusations none the less. I thought about how to reply to these, and I actually found myself grateful for these people.
You can take negative comments in two ways: You can take it personally, and become angry, which might result in an angry reply. Or, you can take a moment and evaluate your writing. Was it correct? Are they right? Is there a foundation to their concerns? When I read the comments of concern from my readers it caused me to not only look hard at my writing, but it spurred me into a flurry of research. I spent about 45 minutes researching what the uproar was about. Reading, delving, questioning, learning....
And the result of the flack that I received is not only that I know a bit more goat history now, but I can stand behind my writing with confidence. I will answer the comments and questions from others with politeness, and am more than willing to share why I wrote what I wrote with them. But I will not change my words so that no one is offended. Truth hurts sometimes. And sometimes we need it to hurt. I will stand tall in the face of disparaging remarks and negative comments. If I find that I am indeed in the wrong, then I will change what needs to be changed and offer my apologies where it is needed. But I will not apologize for being honest.