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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

IWSG: Burnt Bridges - and New Road Construction



As a serial non-commenter, I know I've burnt many bridges over the last few months - to where I am sure some bloggers consider me quite the arse(onist!)
I can’t change the past, or make someone follow me, but I can apologize to those who feels slighted at my lack of return-commentness.

I am sorry and humbly ask for your forgiveness.
Of course, anyone who doesn’t read me anymore won't see this – the irony, the irony! – but I can, at least ease my guilt with this "I am not wordy!" selfie post via the Insecure Writers Support Group.

(And, a huge thanks to Alex for founding IWSG – and for stressing me out every first Wednesday of the month :)

Truthfully, I didn’t feel I had anything to say the last few months.

I had no words of advice.

In addition, I definitely had no “rah rah” to offer.

I won’t waste time on excuses, but realized several weeks ago that I had given up on myself, which makes me a little sad.

(I am, however, a lot happy that I realized this now – and not in twenty years.)

Like many others, I have a lot of baggage inside me, but it was getting so bad that I started to charge myself $25 every time I jumped in the minivan.

But see, I want to contribute to IWSG and say, “Yes, I Write Some Great posts.”

I can’t repair the burnt bridges (that’s a two-way road), but I can repair my side.

So, today is a good day.

Today is a write day.


I am a Writer.

...stub my toe...

 Have a great week everyone and hug a writer, why don't you :)


Anonymous said...

We still like you, Mark. We all have baggage, don't we. But, we have to keep going and not get bogged down in it. Have a great day!

Tony Laplume said...

I loved when you stubbed your toe. (Just kidding!)

Bob/Sally said...

We're still here and still reading, Mark. We all get bogged down with baggage, but the IWSG is a nice kick in the pants to get us going again. I've missed a couple of months myself, and the guilt does get me writing.

Anonymous said...

Do people really care that much about comments to burn bridges?? I really hope not. I suck at consistent commenting, so I wouldn't expect more from anyone else.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I'm still here too! Glad that today's a good day - I like those days :-)

Elise Fallson said...

I guess you have to ask yourself the question: Are you a writer or a professional return commenter? Hugs to you and have a glass of wine (preferably from a bottle). I hear it'll help ease your toe pains. :)

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Hey Mark! I've been a bad blogger myself lately. No worries, everyone gets busy.
I'm glad to hear today is a write day. :) I know from reading your blog what a creative, funny writer you are. Best of luck to you!

M.J. Fifield said...

I like Elise's comment—none of us are professional return commenters.

(Except for maybe Alex, but really, his blogging skills are otherworldly...)

So happy to hear that today is a good day. And a write day.

Happy writing!

Oh, and thank you for your offer to help today. I'll be in touch soon.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

You are so talented Mark. And you have nothing to apologize for. There are plenty of bloggers who disappear for a bit, then come back. It's all good. You're a good man, don't beat yourself over the head...without hair to protect it, you will bruise easily.

Do what you can. But keep on keeping on. You're going to make it!!

Rachna Chhabria said...

We all have baggage Mark, we either drop it off somewhere or reduce its contents so that its easier to carry around.

Elephant's Child said...

Isn't it a shame that the baggage that you can GUARANTEE no-one will ever steal is the heaviest. And ugliest. And that for some reason it is also the baggage we find hardest to walk away from.
And, as a reading addict, a big thank you to every writer, everywhere.

Kristin Smith said...

Mark, you're awesome (baggage and all)! And yes, you do write some great posts. And another yes, everyone should hug a writer! Happy Wednesday! :)

Fundy Blue said...

I really believe that most of us do the best we can. Sometimes life just gets in the way. People talk a lot about being kinder to each other, but sometimes I think we need to be kinder to ourselves. I enjoyed your post, Mark!

Robin said...

If I am going to write it means I am not going to comment on every single post out there. I will try to comment on as many as I can. We all just do our best.

Hang in there!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Your blog is always so entertaining. I'm putting in a request that you write more even when you think you don't have something to say.

S.P. Bowers said...

I like what Elise said. Are you a writer or a professional blogger? I think only the professional bloggers are concerned about your return comments. Just in case you were worried, you didn't burn any bridges with me. :)

Happy writing!

Krista McLaughlin said...

We've all got some baggage and stub our toes. We all charge ourselves for drive the minivan and not wanna get on the train. But we have each other for support. We writers stick together. :)

Lara Schiffbauer said...

Did you read my post the other day? The one about mindfulness and how I wondered if I have given up? I know it is an uncomfortable place to be, but maybe it isn't a bad place to be? And then I read a post on Writer Unboxed by Dan Blank that helped me even more to be okay with my recent decisions that made me worry I'd given up. If you are interested in those posts, let me know and I'll send you links.

I guess I just want to say I think it's okay to take a break. It's okay to not chase full-tilt after the golden ring. It's okay to just be for a while. Maybe it doesn't mean you've (or I've) given up - just that we're taking it all a little more sanely. If that makes sense at all. :P Good luck!

Oh, I don't think you owe anyone an apology, either. Lots of people have not been around lately. It happens! When I'd been blogging for a year, I started reading posts by people who had been blogging for several, and who remarked on the joy and excitement of the newbies, and how the magic was over for them. And then, a couple years later, we're the bloggers who have been blogging for a while and there's new newbies. I think it's like the blogging circle of life!

Lara Schiffbauer said...

I kind of wrote a book...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The only one around here who burns bridges is Al with his dragon breath. No worries about that Mark.
More concerned about you! Guess it's a good thing the Dragon and others are now also kicking you every week. (Someone is going to read this and think that's terrible!)
Trust in God.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

There's no way I can comment on the 50+ blogs I follow -- plus random interesting ones I come across on Twitter. All I can do is comment here and there and sprinkle it around. I don't think you've burnt as many bridges as you think. Lots of writers get bogged down. We're still here when you climb out of the bog!

Melissa said...

Do you see me? I'm still here. :)

We all have less that ideal blogging behavior sometimes. Don't beat yourself up. (And, whatever you do, don't stop writing! I really WILL pull out the vice grips. :P)

I finally had to visit blogs only on days I blog, and if my post is entirely promo for someone else, I don't push myself to return-visit if I'm busy. IMHO, fielding comments is the other author's responsibility--the one being promoted.

Seeing publishing from the other side now, I'm quickly reorganizing my priorities. I need to write more and spend more time with my family. (They've been put in second--sometimes last--place too often during this final publishing push. The success of Come Back has soothed it some, but still.) I'm going to be looking hard at my social media habits... probably reduce my blogging schedule to once a week. I may even post a quote or a picture sometimes and disable comments so I don't have to return visits. Dunno. Still thinking on it.

Anyhow, don't be too hard on yourself, and don't be afraid to adjust your blogging schedule to suit your needs.

Suzi said...

Never enough time in the day. Even if a day was 26 hours, we'd still have the same problem. And you have to prioritize. Don't feel bad about that.

Nick Wilford said...

We all know blogging can get exhausting sometimes. No damage done. Glad you're feeling better!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hey, you, Crazy GUY... CHEER UP! and STAY THAT WAY... you have such an incredible light and uber personality, you shouldn't be so hard on yourself.

YES... your ARE a writer for sure. Never doubt that. Be confident in knowing you can always improve!

I LOVE when I learn something new to improve my writing. Every writer has a unique eye that is why we need to GET OUR WORK OUT THERE and field the reactions.

Yesterday I got a rejection from an agent. DID I BROOD... NO... I said, "YAY! At least it's not a form rejection... No "Dear Author." I mean come on you can't spend two seconds to write the author's name in... We take DAYS tweaking our queries to personalize it for them...

Anyway. Sent out another yesterday and plan to do one after blogging a bit... WE need to CONTINUE ON! ONWARD AND UPWARD, BUDDY!

Al Diaz said...

I know Alex was kidding but it happens to be true. I've burned a lot of bridges over several months of failing to return comments. I would say over fifty bridges, if not more. Things like that happen, but as you say, it's pointless to try to undo the past. You can start again. I'm seriously wondering how much have you gathered with that toll for getting in the minivan. Maybe you can buy the Dwarves some breakfast.

You better start believing in yourself, buddy. I hear Melissa has been polishing her torture devices. Dragon Hugs!

dolorah said...


~Sia McKye~ said...

Mark, don't beat yourself up over being or not being a voracious commenter. There are those who have the time to do that, or make the time to do it and kudos to those. I don't have the time if I want a life.

Yah, I got baggage and we all do. I also have a life with a family that has to have the number one spot in my life and then a job, and the rest filters into different priority slots. And if I want to write then I have to choose which I prefer--writing comments or a story. I do try to get to everyone on a frequent basis and I never promise to comment on every post someone writes because I don't make promises I can't keep.

Set aside the guilt boyo, and do the best you can. And don't set aside your time or your writing time. :-)

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Nicole said...

What is this giving up on yourself nonsense? I've read your stuff, mister, and I know it'll find a wonderful home someday. Keep at it and don't worry; comments alone do not blog friends make.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mark - life is life .. we do what we do when we do it - the most important thing is not getting down and especially not the out bit ..

Lots goes on with 4 boys .. so keep happy we're here and I've been sorting stuff out as I move on, so havne't been touring as I should have .. cheers Hilary

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