On Friday night, I sat down to write a draft of my post for Single Black Male. I had been thinking about it on the train ride home from the post-collegiate white frat party I wrote about over the weekend. Me and the homie J were talking about awkward conversations with chicks. One of which happened to be explaining to a woman why we chose not to get into a relationship with them then went off to date somebody else. I said a few tipsy words about it being a hard pill to swallow for a woman to see a man she wanted to be with choose to date somebody else and not understand why she wasn’t good enough even though he had bedded her repeatedly. He made a cooler and blacker version of the Ric Flair sound (Wooo!) and I immediately knew I had a monstrous post on my hands. This happens a lot. I say something witty and/or bawse, then it turns into a post with names removed and my phone set to silent.
I got to my train stop and scurried home like my bowels were about to fail me. I couldn’t wait to get back to the crib and dump my thoughts into WordPress then light a match. And when I did, boy did I feel relieved. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep the original thoughts, quotes, and metaphors worded the exact way they crossed my mind if too much time goes by. I feel like I have over the counter ADD or happy squirrel syndrome sans chasing after nuts.
I went ahead and wrote the full post which I initially titled “She Just Wasn’t Good Enough.” I changed it in the morning after I posted it to “Why Wasn’t I Good Enough?” because the title didn’t really capture what the post was about. Anyway, every thought that came to mind went into the draft. I approached it as if I was writing here. It was raw, transparent, and very real. Once it was done, I saved the post, drank a beer, and ate some pizza. A couple hours later, I opened it back up to see what foolishness leaked from my brain onto the electronic canvas.
“This is gonna get me eaten alive, disliked, and booed. Ain’t no way in hell the women reading this are gonna be feeling this post. I need to make this easier on the eyes.”
If anything has stunted my growth as a writer, it’s been my sensitivity to opinions at times. I’ve always been honest in my posts, but I’ve usually tried to take a more agreeable and positive approach. It’s worked to a certain degree, but in reality I think the filters have done more harm that good. And truthfully, if I didn’t have this personal blog for a week as training ground I don’t know that I would’ve wrote it but I’m glad I did. And as expected, it got ugly.
264 c0mments, 88 FB likes, and 24 RTs later, I’m amazed at how many people it struck a nerve with. I mean…I knew it would hit, but I didn’t expect the heated debate to escalate to what it did. Yeah, I took some shots from folks on SBM and Twitter. I even got a couple messages off to the side saying “you know what you did was f*cked up right?” I basically polarized and alienated a good chunk of the reader base. My stomach turned a bit on my first glance through the comments similar to the feeling I’ve gotten on the few occasions I’ve been on a roller coaster.
It was f*cking awesome.
Why was it awesome? Not because I enjoy seeing people upset, but because people felt compelled to react when they could’ve said nothing at all. I didn’t even have to be inflammatory (Not to be confused with flaming). Lurkers came out the woodworks. New fans emerged saying they respected the honesty. There were so many conversations going on that I didn’t even know where to focus. TRSJ traffic soared to a level I didn’t expect to see for a month as a result of the clicks. The payoff of taking a chance with my writing was far greater than the chinks in my armor. I trusted myself and in exchange received a whole new level of confidence. It was pretty f*cking bawse. However, don’t think for a second that I won’t be sensitive about my sh*t. It’s an artistic thing.
I’m hoping I can carry this momentum forward. Whether people like it or not, some things just need to be said. My opinion is my opinion and my story is my story. I’ll do my best to stick to ‘em. Besides, the worst thing anybody can do is send me an innocuous message…or approach me at a public function demanding that I explain myself. And if the latter happens, well..I’ll just have to be The Real Slim Jackson.
30 in 30 for the win,