Every week I feel guilty if I don’t do a post for Share Our Shit Saturday. On weeks that I have my own shit together enough to share my love of other writer’s shit, I still feel guilty. I love the concept of #SOSS and #FF and all the celebratory shout out prompts and memes that keep many of us motivated and engaged in the community. What I don’t love, is seeing how much we judge ourselves and our contributions. Every week, someone, usually several someones, are apologising on Twitter for not doing an #SOSS post or only commenting on a handful of #SinfulSunday posts, or not getting something written for a meme. We’ve all done it, as a Canadian I’ve likely done it lots. And what is the response? It’s an outpouring of gratitude for what was done, what was said, and what support was shared. If we don’t measure each other’s value in terms of how many likes were left, how many shares and retweets, how many pieces were linked to, etc. then why are we so quick to feel so bad?
One of the best forms of support in this kinky writing community is the empathy for how much we all have going on. Very few of us do this full time, and those who do, struggle with the same limitations of life and time and personal resources as those who have a more regular 9-5 or write as a hobby. No one ever expresses being hurt or angry that more people didn’t read or share their work, yet we all feel terrible if we can’t do “enough”. What is enough? 10 stories? 50 likes? 100 retweets? It’s impossible to say what is enough, but I’m going to make a definitive statement and I hope that you agree:
You are a valuable part of this community and you will continue to be accepted and encouraged, even if you didn’t have the time this week to do any reading or tweeting or commenting, etc.
We all know that we are all doing what we can, and we need to stop apologizing unnecessarily. Instead, let’s continue to be grateful and as generous as we can with our feedback and acknowledgements. Doing your best is good enough for me, and I trust that my best is good enough for you. That accountability and trust is part of what gives a community strength and allows genuine relationships to take root, not a false sense of entitlement to praise and feedback, nor the burden of guilt that you read your kids an extra story last night and you were too tired to blog or to chime in on someone else’s.
Thank you to everyone who liked and shared my stuff this week. I’m chuffed to have hit 1000 likes on this blog and your support means the world.
Enjoy your weekend!