Monday, August 1, 2011

People on the Internet are Assholes and Other Things I Should Really Know By Now

A very important thing happened today, one of those moments where I get smacked upside the head by my own brain. Because I absolutely KNEW this was going to happen and I did it anyway.
It is an ongoing battle between my fear of what I can do and what I will come up against that I finally ~cannot~ do, and my desire to create things. I have, in truth, wanted to create comics ever since I was 7. I'm not sure what made me decide, but I'm pretty sure it was spurred on by Linda Carter as Wonder Woman and Saturday Morning cartoons with Firestar and the Spidey Friends.
I'd attempted it once before and loved the wrinkled, balding, toothless bastard child I gave birth to that showed me all of the things I needed to learned - my beloved Zombie Nation, which I might redraw and go back to some day if I were paid to do such things. But for now it was a lovely experiment that taught me I have an innate love for telling -and drawing- a good story that I can share with others. On some level I want that intimacy and freedom to project a part of myself and my creativity out in to the world and have it be received and run with by others. There's nothing like it.
So it was with immense trepidation that I began to work on a new comic... although comic is not exactly appropriate as there's the undercurrent of something amusing. So for now we're saying "graphic novel" and hoping it doesn't come across as trying to be an artiste.
It actually looks as if I might be able to pull this off. I might've learned enough about pacing, angles, visual clues and whatnot to tell a decent story. And when I realized that all it might take is a ton of practice and I could do it this time around, well.... I got a little excited.
And then I did the dumbest thing EVAR and posted my excitement to the internet.
I post a lot and my friends generally pick and choose what of my babblations they are interested in to respond to. I'm in to many varied things, so there's a little for everybody. But then there's the people who are friends with me and only ever make negative comments, or who basically ignore and don't interact until they see an opportunity to point out when someone is Wrong On The Internet.
And this happened. I posted what I was planning, and somebody snarked me. The ONLY response to my excitement, in fact, was this snark.
The entire thing has since been deleted because I don't want it in there. I am an unnaturally sensitive creature despite this fantastic overlay of brusqueness I have cultured. Was it cowardly? Does it make me thin skinned? I don't know. It's already done. That is not the important thing that happened in all of this, so I'm done devoting thought to it.
What I realized was twofold; the first is that people on the internet are assholes. My husband looked at me incredulously when I told him what happened and used those very words, as if he could not believe I was caught off guard or surprised at the thing. And he's right. When you throw an idea out to a large group of mixed people, SOMEONE is going to say something. A few may even dogpile it and slam it to the ground. It is the nature of not having to look someone in the face when you comment, and it is the nature of incomplete communication and understanding. I have lived this so many times it makes my teeth hurt, and I should've known better.
The second is that it is VERY important early on in the birthing process of an idea, a project, anything being created, to keep it close to one's chest. It's very fragile and needs nurturing and light and hope to grow. It will never get that if you leave it out for the general public to trod upon. Ideas are ephemeral beasts even when fully formed and able to stand on their own. A newborn idea may never have a chance.
In the end I realized that this individual, soon to be unfriended on the Facebookz, had done me an amazing public service. They had reminded me that my energy should be inward facing right now, working on this project that I want so badly to create. Talking about it, sharing it, dissipates the creative energy in this intangible way that I've seen over the years. A quick snark and all of this knowledge came back to me in sharp focus, as if the Universe were saying "Look, if you want this to succeed mebbe you keep your mouth shut for now."
I am a believer that all interactions can be learned from, it is only the capacity of the individual in the situation to do the learning that shapes or limits it. It may have started negative, but what this person does not realize is that their boot stomp just made me twice as determined to finish them. I am grateful for the lesson, and I am moving on. There's too much to do now to dwell.

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