to be told I suck

I received this email the other day that kind of broke my heart. If you notice, it's been a few days since I posted; I have been thinking over what this person said and kind of pondering what to do about it. The email came from an anonymous reader and yes, I copy and pasted their email address into facebook's search bar to try and find them... I'm a creeper like that, but they weren't on facebook. So I'm left with this anonymous email that tore me up.

I wasn't quite sure if I should share anything about it, but I write, that's what I do, and so many of you have become trusted friends and I figure what are friends for if not to share burdens and encourage one another? This email talked about my heart and my writing. "Once upon a time," it said, "I thought yo u had something to say and a poetic skill to say it beautifully. Slowly, your words became redundant, you began to mimic yourself and others on the Internet, you had nothing new to say and your style just became dull."

So right about here my eyes filled with tears. I was seriously at a loss and had no idea why someone would tell me this. They continued to list blogs of people who had the same style or message as me but were "much better writers and storytellers."  Through my tears I chuckled because a few of the people they mentioned are my friends.

The ending was my favorite.  "I am not telling you this to upset you but to help you.  You seem to spend a lot of time writing and editing photos for your blog.  Maybe you hope to write a book someday or just to gain a huge following.  I hope in telling you these things you will see that you are wasting yours and your family's time.  You always write about living each moment and relishing your children's childhoods.  You should take your advice and not spend so much time on this pursuit but spend the time on your family and getting right with God. Humbly, an anonymous reader"

So my friends, I have been quietly, prayerfully pondering this email.  I just am not sure what to do with it.  My first thought is, am I really wasting time?  This is my one life, am I throwing it away on empty pursuits?  Then I think about God, about who He has made me.  Ever since I was a child, I wrote.  I wrote letters, stories, articles, journals.  I never knew what to say to people so I wrote my thoughts to them instead.  When I have taken breaks from writing I have been filled with anxiety and overwhelmed by my thoughts and emotions.  God made me a person who writes.  And write I must.

Then comes questioning the blog.  I must write, but must I write for an audience?  I could just keep it all to myself.  Why do I blog anyway?  It's not to write a book or gain a huge following, although those things would probably be nice if they happened.  I have been writing books for years anyway, they have just never been published, you know?  I started my blog because I was writing anyway and I thought I could share it and maybe, just maybe, it would encourage someone.  And I know that it has, I receive those positive emails too.

It's just that negativity doesn't sit well with me.  When someone thinks poorly of me it consumes my heart and my mind.  I know it shouldn't, I know I should just let it roll off of me, but I can't.  It hurts.  It aches.  I want people to like me.  And someone doesn't.  And it just makes me want to quit.

So now I have come to the end of what I have to say.  I'm still not sure why I told you guys this.  And please don't butter me up, I'm not fishing... I just need a friend.


  1. That was a sad, sad (possibly angry) person. Pray for them, but don't feed their negativity with a response (well, beside this anyway). You've got it off your chest. I would feel the same way. I write my blog to encourage others and remember our days, like a journal, but more. I would be crushed if someone wrote those words to me and hope you don't let it crush you. I hope you turn it around and love that person who obviously can't say anything nice. ((hugs))

  2. I am stunned that someone should express themselves with such unkindness and, frankly, bitterness in the name of God. I personally love the way you gently live your life, being authentic, it seems, in your words and what are priorities for your family. We may not all live life the same way for a variety of reasons but we can all see beauty in the path that God has called each of us to walk.
    "Humbly".....meh and bah!
    "Annonymous! .....meh, meh, meh, meh......

  3. Just leaving a little note here in case your anonymous "friend" reads this. Do not give one ounce of weight or worry to this person's opinions. They are not encouraging and building you up, they are whispering accusations, doubt, discouragement and dissension. If they were a friend worth listening to they would write to you in love and SIGN THEIR NAME. Just dump this garbage and keep doing what you are doing. Your words are beautiful, sweet, honest, tender and lovely. And your voice is needed here. love you.

    TONIA (hee!)

  4. um, I don't think this person has actually read your blog. Are you sure that wasn't spam? Or a random passer by? I just don't get it AT ALL. It seems like one huge lie to me. Your style hasn't changed, you don't mimic ANYONE on the internet and you are NOT DULL. You don't post ALL THE TIME. You don't do pretty much ANY of the things you were accused.

    Don't be so willing to believe these things. They are lies.

  5. Heyyyyy, so sad the hate is going around but if I've got to have company in the ugly, I'm glad it's with you. Does that sound as rotten as I think it does? :) Love you. I figure I must be doing something right - you know the saying "if you're pleasing everyone, you're not being authentic" or some such wisdom. :)

  6. Hello friend!

    First of all, congratulations! I keep telling my husband I won't consider myself a real writer until I get some actual hate mail, so you're WAY ahead of me :)

    Another blogger, a mutual friend of ours, someone who has had some pretty nasty things directed at her lately, posted a link to someone who used all her hate mail and shaped it into origami. I love that--taking something ugly and transforming it into beautiful. Sounds just like the gospel, yes?

    Write if you love writing. Take breaks when you need to. The cool people get you. And we love you :)

  7. Oh, Amy. That would've really messed with me, too. I'm sorry. I say: keep on, Beautiful Sister. I would miss you too much. Amber Haines wrote a post, today, about her longing for acceptance and how she's repenting and trying to move beyond it. It helped me, and I recommend it.

  8. once upon a time I found this blog that touched my heart and made me think
    and i realized the person who wrote it was a kindred spirit
    that she was a gentle mother and educator
    that she loved the same Jesus
    that she was compassionate and real
    and i fell in love with her

    and her pictures
    and her kids
    and her gentle mothering heart

    hint: it's your blog. it's you.

    i love you.

    make that origami, girlfriend.

  9. Amy,
    When I found your blog it was such a breath of fresh air for me.
    Your voice is real, authentic, spirit filled, gentle, encouraging, relatable.
    I don't know anyone who writes like you.
    You have your own voice, it is unique and it is very special.
    There will always be people who won't get you; won't get your writing, your life, your thoughts, the choices you make etc... etc...
    But those who choose to come here, to this lovely, quiet, space that you have created love you for exactly who you are.
    And if they are anything like me they are relieved "they aren't the only ones." :)
    Even though we've never met in person I consider you a real friend :)
    And by the way, if you ever write a book I'll be first in line to buy it!

  10. The fact they feel like they can tell you all that while signing it Anonymous is cowardly. Don't listen to them, keep it up.

  11. Dearest Amy - without losing any of your oh-so-beautifully-basic gentleness, I am advising you to gently and carefully, but as loudly as you can, SHOUT THE ENEMY DOWN. Because this note? It is straight from the pit of darkness and should be treated as such. There isn't one word of truth in it - not one. I am so sorry this happened to you and I completely get why your initial response is hurt and confusion. But please believe me when I say, THERE IS NO TRUTH IN IT. Your voice is a beautiful one and one that we need. So. . . keep up the lovely work, please. And make a heckuva big origami outta this one, okay??

  12. I know your heart is pure even thought I have never met you and I also know you are not out for more readers or fame or fortune.
    IGNORE the reader.
    You have a simple wonderful gift and I appreciate it that is why I read your blog and encourage you.
    IGNORE the reader and don't let those words creep into your peace.