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Okay I See.

So hi y’all.

If you’ve been here for a while you know I like to keep stuff at least kind of transperent so let me tell you a few things that are going on.

In my time at XoJane  (the top one is the newest) a lot of people have come up in comments there, in my tumblr ask box etc to tell me how much they dislike what I’m doing there, my work, my face, how I wear my nails and pretty much every word I type.

That’s fine.

What is not fine is that every time I have something new published,  I wind up having to clear out dozens of these messages from my various inboxes.

So I’m probably going to shut down comments here and in other spots because frankly if you aren’t offering me money in a professional capacity I don’t have the time nor energy to deal with you.

Also let me tell the four or five folks (I’m assuming it’s more because a lot of shit incoming is anonymized) or whomever a few things.

I have said many times I use stats trackers and I know how to read them.

If you’re trying to bring me to your thread on that message board so I can see how much people there dislike my work, nah I’m good. I have no desire to interact with people who don’t like me if I’m not contractually obligated to do so.

Just like in meat space, people who say don’t like my hair of dark lipstick I’m not gonna sit around and keke with them. I honestly only give enough of a shit to be aware of what’s being said, consider some things and the rest is none of my business frankly.

While I am frequently open to critique, these things are not critique. How about a sampling of some of the shit I’ve had to clean out of my moderated comment queue tonight. First a sampling from what I posted on twitter earlier:

 

A few more gems of thoughtful critique of my work and self:

“I hope you get fired”

“You write the worst”

“You don’t deserve the attention you get”

“You are a hack and completely unprofessional. ”

Note not one of these people has actually spoken directly to me in a manner that indicates they have some critique and want a conversation.

Not one has left a name or valid email.

Some are coming in from that one forum thread (yes I’ve seen it before, yes I’m STILL that blogger y’all haven’t liked for years) I get it. I really do. A bunch of people don’t like me for a lot of reasons. As above, that’s fine.

What I don’t have to do is try to make friends or lick ass or change how I go about doing what I’ve been getting paid a little money to do.

I also need to reiterate a few other things.

I am a fat queer Black woman on the internet who has opinions about things. I have gotten death threats, rape threats, been doxxed, had people contact my various employers, try to contact my family blahblabhblah.

I have a fairly thick skin. I understand fully that my work is not for everyone and I am not to everybody’s taste.

What I don’t understand is why keep fucking with me about it? That’s what bothers me.

Why go through the trouble of searching, coming in from the forum whether you’re a member or not, finding my contact form or trying to comment with that shit in my private space?

If you hate me, hate my writing and feel passionately enough about that hate to seek out my personal spots where I talk about shit put your feelings to better use.

If you want to get me fired from XoJane there are ways to do that.

XoJane Pitch page. Pitch them a better series.

Send any and all feedback to info@xojane.com

Here is an example mail for you,

To Whom it May concern,

Regarding the article on (pick a date) I find Shannon Barber’s writing atrocious and unprofessional. It is my opinion that she should not be writing for your magazine- you can continue from there.

That is how you go about dealing with media you don’t like.

What I am opposed to is coming into my inboxes to shit on my shoes and tell me to be a fucking professional.

Fuck you.

Now let me state again very clearly. This is not about me having hurt feelings. I do but that’s not the point. It’s not about how many people dislike my work, or how they talk about my work amongst themselves.

Knock yourselves out. Go for it.

It is about bringing that into my personal life. That is malicious and I won’t say trolling it is abusive.

Here’s the thing.

I won’t be abused into silence.

If your aim is silence, be an adult and take it to someone who can do something about your problem. It is not my problem.

I am who I am.

I like who I am. I am really enjoying doing my series at Xojane specifically. I really love having people tell me that they aren’t in the specific situation that I’m talking about but that they feel good. Regardless of how much anybody hates my style, I still love that I’ve given a few people a space to talk about stuff they don’t normally discuss.

Overall, it’s all to the good.

That said, I am going to make it more difficult to get a hold of me. I apologize to those who have legitimate projects or whatever but I just don’t have the spoons to deal with so much extra shit.

I have enough of my own.

Homo Out

 

Welcome to my new thing y’all.

Here we are y’all.

Here is what I am doing here.

Recently I’ve realized several things that are a running theme in my life the last couple of years.

  1. Being a maker of things (written things, crocheted things, other mystery crafty things) means a lot to me on many levels.
  2. The number of fucks I give about how I am culturally inculcated to feeling about aging, my body and my looks has dwindled to negative 45.
  3. I needed a fresh spot to explore things.
  4. I was real tired of bloggers shit.

Those things happening at a time when I was already feeling some type of way about my previous litterbox mean this is happening.

So I’m just gonna start talking.

I’ve been doing this series over at XOjane for the past few weeks, I’ve been using both my poor skills and my passion for self care to try and help some folks get through it.

As I’ve been writing this series I am kind of amazed at how many of the attitudes I’ve shed over the years regarding what I do and don’t deserve and what is and is not okay for me to do or be interested in.

Once upon a time some of the shitty commentary from people who don’t like how I write would have just broken my heart. I would have bought into the idea that “the author” is the asshole to be made fun of thing and probably told Marianne I quit.

At this point though, I’ve heard all that.

I don’t particularly care. What I do care about more is in my own mind I feel like I’m doing some good and that’s awesome.

Also seeing how far I’ve really come in terms of learning to treat myself better.

Some of y’all might remember how much I angsted and wept over buying my beloved Oxblood Docs because they were expensive and I loved them.

Just lately as I’ve been learning to balance my writing life with the day job, and balance the writing things with each other I’ve been feeling down. I felt like I was/am doing something terribly wrong.

I’ve also realized I did a shitload of work to unlearn the whole concept of me “deserving” good treatment from myself or from others.

And then I ran into a brick wall.

I mentioned my deep love of and desire to just be a maker. I crochet, I used to do a lot of sewing. And then (as I am thinking of my stash of finished crocheted shawls) I realized I have a problem.

Somewhere in my early 20s when finances were dire I absolutely could not afford to have a hobby that didn’t involve free. I didn’t crochet, I didn’t buy clothes to tear apart or buy fabric. I didn’t buy books. I was at survival level brokeness.

During that period I decided somewhere in my subconscious that even if I did better financially being a maker of things that I might sell or give as gifts was not going to happen.

The part that fucks me up today is that I do have a hobby budget. I have a partner and other loved ones who support my obsession with being a maker but when I try to take that next step of setting up shop for physical items or entering a craft fair I freeze up and freak out.

There are a lot of messages that go through my head about this. The idea that if I fail or don’t sell I’ve gone and wasted money on my stupid ideas.

That if I do said thing even if it does sell it won’t really pay the bills so why the fuck.

Funny how the shit we think we have solved comes up again like a goddamn jack in the box.

Much like my years long struggles with learning to self care, learning to care for my body, learning to care for my hair this is something else I feel like I have to get through.

I have to struggle and remind myself I deserve to do shit that makes me happy. If I want to try and sell some arty shit, that’s okay too.

I want to say that if I can struggle through the depths of shit body image and through poverty driven disordered everything,  I fucking survived that and I am deeply invested in not turning 40 with this particular baggage.

To that end, there are some things I will probably talk about trying and failing at. Or the occasional win.

My current goal is to get at least two of my shawls photographed and ready for sale next weekend. Outside of really just wanting to unfuck my attitude about myself as a potential maker (note I don’t say artist, that is for reasons) I need to get through it.

I also really need to get going on my side hustles. I need a newer/more beefy laptop, I need to pay for myself and partner to go to AWP next year. And you know, life stuff.

I am glad I got that off my chest.

Welcome to Shannon has issues and is real over it.

Next time I want to talk about my one beautiful white hair on my head and some things about aging I was not expecting.

And thanks for reading y’all.

Homo Out.