on Comments

An experience I had on Coursera recently had my brain in turmoil. That is, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I am not going to go into what happened, but let’s just say it had to do with negative feedback. It felt very personal and it was upsetting.

A few days into this, when my brain had settled a bit, but was still dwelling on the events and the comments too much, I found myself with a 2-hour solo drive. I decided to listen to the uncut interview of Seth Godin on ON BEING. I’d already listened to the prettied-up version, but I don’t like the idea of missing something good.

Sure enough, there was something good. Really good — especially for me right then. Seth Godin said that he never reads his own book reviews, comments on his blog or twitter, anything. He doesn’t read the positive stuff and he doesn’t read the negative stuff. He just doesn’t read it. Because he knows that the negative feedback can derail him.

It was really good for me to hear that. I have not looked at the upsetting conversation since then, and in fact I’ve pretty completely put it out of my mind. The question is: do I leave a place for people to comment on this blog? At this point, I must read it to approve it. Fortunately I’ve never gotten a negative comment here. Mostly I don’t get any comments (except from my one loyal reader!) So I’m considering just turning off the comments. Why not? What’s the point? If you want to get in touch with me, I know you’ll find a way to do it.

Daring Greatly

Despite my trepidation about making my song available to anyone who reads this blog, I find I am quite saddened and discouraged that I’ve had no feedback whatsoever. Part of me is relieved that I’m still invisible. Part of me wonders if the song was so bad that there’s nothing even to say about it — too pathetic to even comment on.

This morning I am surfing some blogs I had bookmarked, and I just went to Brené Brown’s website and blog. Found a wonderful parenting manifesto which I just printed out, and I was looking at the other downloads. And what do I read but something that really strikes me to the heart:

FEEDBACK IS A FUNCTION OF RESPECT…
WE ASK THAT YOU SHOW UP, LET YOURSELF BE SEEN AND BE COURAGEOUS.
DARE GREATLY WITH US.

Please let me know you’re out there if you are. It’s a lonely place on this huge web when no one’s reaching back.

Songwriting

I may have mentioned that I’m taking a songwriting class from Pat Pattison of Berklee School of Music through the free online course offerings of Coursera. This is now the final week of the class and I have one more assignment to go. This past week my assignment was to write a whole song (yikes!): lyrics, melody and even a bridge. Well, it is done.

I have to say the lyric writing wasn’t too bad — it’s like writing poetry, so I felt pretty comfortable with that part. But writing music itself is not something I’m qualified to do. Fortunately in this course, you don’t have to be able to play an instrument. You can use music loops provided by the instructor. There’s a variety: drum loops, ballad loops, reggae loops, etc. I made my song to a rock ballad loop. It seemed to fit best.

I’m going to share with you the lyrics, which I’m pretty happy with:

Shedding Skin – 2nd draft

My faded canvas pants and shoes–
Echoing this dermal crust
This armor that I’ve learned to trust
–Are comfortable but no excuse

Don’t wanna shed my skin
Realign, redefine
The me that hides within

But in my heart I start to itch
Something restless underneath
My soul commanding me to breathe
Apprehensions come unhitched

Can’t keep on like I did before
Gotta let go what I have no use for

The me inside I can’t conceal
The light of me warps and diffracts
I need to let it shine intact
Manifest what’s pure and real

Ready to shed my skin
Realign, redefine
The me that hides within

I’m nervous about posting the recording, but I will as long as you understand that I’m a complete amateur at this.
You will probably be able to see my last recording, too, which was only a verse and a chorus. Wasn’t planning on sharing that, but I know I have a sympathetic audience, right?

Whew! This is one time I’m glad I have so few blog followers! Even so, I’d love to hear from you. Words of encouragement are always welcome! Constructive criticism is mostly welcome. (Gotta be honest –it’s not always my favorite!)