Thursday, August 2, 2012

So Be It

I never had that much of an audience.  When I started my first blog in 2006, I would be overjoyed if my site meter counted over ten visits a day.  So I was used to being a quiet, if not lonely, small voice in the vast Internet.  Occasionally a kind word was proffered, criticism was rare.  From time to time, I would publish on a controversial topic, and then the fangs would come out.  A series of posts on physician assistants and nurse practitioners received a number of lowbrow assaults on my character.  But I accepted this as part of the process.  Sometimes there are casualties in the war of ideas.

When I started utilizing twitter, there was an uptick in my following.  I got even more attention when my posts were reprinted on KevinMD.  I realized quickly that along with exposure comes an increase in criticism.  Again, being a mature adult this was nothing that I couldn't handle.

I have said in the past that I live in a world of words, but actually I was inaccurate.  In reality, I live in a world of ideas.  Ideas that often come so fast that I am rushing to place pencil on page (fingertips on keyboard).  Translating emotion and the world of imagination to physical form is awkward.  Ideas are transient, the markings on the computer screen are more or less permanent. 

I have never professed myself to be grammarian or a spelling bee wizard.  So when I started to get blog comments correcting my posts, I took little notice.  You can assume that if it was missed by the spell checker, it was missed by me.  No harm, no foul.

Recently a commenter on one of my posts on KevinMD wrote:

I don't want to seem rude or condescending, but is this post a joke? A physician wrote this borderline illiterate and inaccurate essay? Typos happen and are just human. But this is egregious. Publishing a piece like this, riddled with the most elementary spelling errors ( "vane" instead of vein, "message" instead of massage, "bored" instead of board) and ridiculously mixed metaphors ("And like a blind man whose cataracts had just been removed, I once was lost but now couldsee.")seriously diminishes the credibility of this otherwise wonderful website.

I take this statement personally.  I thought about trying to explain how I am a full time doctor, father, husband, and owner of a number of small businesses.  Or tell of how I only have an hour to write each day.

These are just excuses.

I could write less frequently and spend more time editing.  Or maybe writing for the public is just an act of futility in the first place.  I could stop.

But that wouldn't make me happy.

I write this way because the maddening stream of emotion, jubilation, anger, and hurt come so fast that I fear pausing will result in a missed opportunity.

A commenter once noted that my spelling errors will detract from my message.  He lamented that many would stumble on semantics and miss the importance of the post.

My reply is simple.  I am who I am.  When you read my blog posts you see me: scars, blemishes, misspellings, awkward analogies and all.  I'm far from perfect.

If that makes you want to close your browser and never return to my blog again,

so be it.


older + wiser said...

I would hope a good doctor would see past the patient's faulty exterior to the soul that is inside. In the same way that readers need to look past the superficial to the emotions and truths you express.

I think I would flee from a doctor whose response is to pick apart someone's spelling while flinging about $50,000 words such as "egregious".

The people whose opinions are most worth valuing are the ones who get it, regardless of how it's expressed.

tracy said...

Oh, who (whomever?) wrote that is being sooo nit picky!

i love your work and hope you never stop writing!

Best Always,

Anonymous said...

Love your work (from far off Australia.) Keep it up, ignore the critics.

Diane said...

I know a few spelling and grammar Nazi's. The rule that says "those who can, Do and those that can't, Teach." applies to the Nazi's- but hey, what do I know? I am just a patient who very much appreciates a Dr. who isn't focused on sitting on a pedestal, or clawing his way into the elite, or focuses more on spelling then valuable content-

Give a patient a choice and 100 percent are going to pick the Dr. who puts substance over grammar.

Anonymous said...

I love what you write.

And sometimes I wince at your homonymns and other misspellings. But I consider that my personal twitch; as a professional copy editor, I probably can't help it.

Blogging is, by its nature, immediate. We can tolerate a few (or even a few dozen) errors on a personal blog.

Some people will insist that a more 'professional' or 'professional aggregation' site (such as KevinMD) should have a higher standard ... but if KevinMD wants a higher standard, then its moderator can offer to copy-edit posts.

From my perspective, your blogposts are fine the way they are. And if you ever decide to collect your posts into a book, you would be wise to invest a few bucks in having a professional copy editor look them over. But until then? Relax; we love you just the way you are.

(Egregious misspellings and all)

rose said...

The comments in reference to your gramatical errors have me fired up!

If someone is 'grading' your writing-they are NOT reading to comprehend!

This shows me that they have missed the entire message from your writing!!! What a loss for them!

Please ignore the 'teachers' in the crowd and continue to allow us to hear your feelings which come from the heart.

I can only imagine the gramatical errors that I have here... oh well... will give the 'teachers' in the crowd something to 'grade'

Thank you for sharing your feelings, there are many of us out here who sincerely love to read your thoughts!!!

Sandy said...

I have been reading your posts for quite some time and rarely if ever comment. I blog and I blog from the heart and right off the top of my head. I feel like you do also and that is what I like about your posts. This is not a publication, it is a blog for good grief! Ignore the critics for they aren't getting the depth of what you really have to say if all they can see are spelling and grammatical errors.

Anonymous said...

I have read you since probably your very first post. At the time I also had a very active blog. I no longer blog at all and haven't for a couple years. I did the same thing you do. I type fast trying to get it all down. Anyway, I mainly wanted to say that back then I read about 150 different peoples blogs and yours was one of them. Today, I read about 4 peoples blogs and yours is still one of them! Does that tell you something? :):)

Anonymous said...

I'm a doctor and I love reading your blog. If you ever choose to publish your essays then there are editors who are excellent at fixing prolbmes with grammer.

Otherwise, I'd rather hear about your experiences because I see myself in them as a doctor who enjoys writing. I qualifed 2 years prior so knowing my emotional experiences are valid and shared means a lot.

Keep on writing doc.