Negative Feedback

My blog has always been a journey of my life.  Since I began my blog a few years ago I’ve grown as a person and connected with so many different people. I have a lot of real life friends and family that read, as well as people I’ve never met.  Each person is sharing my personal journey with me.  I chose to write and share my life.   I’m not saying that in a negative way but nothing is forcing me to blog.  It is isn’t a source of income to help me survive and no one is telling me…blog or else.

So when I turn off the computer or shut it down, blogging and the internet are not at the front of my mind. I like to exist outside of the internet occasionally.

In life, not every comment you receive is going to be positive.  People are not going to tell you how awesome you are, or wow you’re an inspiration about every single thing you do.  You will have both positive and negative feedback.  The negative feedback is what helps you grow as a person. As hard as hearing the negative feedback and the truth is sometimes, it needs to be heard.

With blogging there is never much negative feedback.  I could go run 50 miles today coming off an injury.  That would be stupid. I guarantee someone would tell me what an inspiration I am for running 50 miles… Sometimes I wonder if blogging is the never never land with rainbows and butterflies where nothing bad ever has happens.  No one ever tells anyone: your idea is dumb or grow up.  That comment would be instamoderated because “omg sponsors”.

By now the website GOMI isn’t anything new.  It’s not a secret and it’s not a group of jealous haters making fun of bloggers.  My guess is it’s a combination of bloggers, readers and people who like to speculate and talk about bloggers.  GOMI forums both criticize and even make fun of a lot of bloggers.  It’s easy to do when no one knows your name and you are hidden behind a username.

Somethings GOMI says are hurful…ie: constantly asking me if I graduated college or how I did it…somethings on GOMI you can take with a grain of salt or even (gasp) better yourself from.  One thing I appreciate about the website is that it isn’t afraid to call out the BS.

Often times (like a few posts about when I completely dropped the ball using the word proportion instead of portion…) they are merited.  I don’t spend a lot of time proofreading my posts because I write them in the morning (between 6-7).  After that I go run for a run and then get ready for work.  I could spend more time on posts but my purpose with this blog is to share my life with friends and family as well as readers.  I want to share my life in “real life” as well and if that means sacrificing blog time to see friends and family…then so be it.  I will never apologize for that.

At the end of the day I’ve come to realize that my life exists outside of the computer screen.  Once I shut the computer off, the internet isn’t the focus of my life. It’s important to have that balance.

So yes, I graduated college.  I was a community health major with a math minor.  The only class I failed in college was Spanish 2.  Since my grammar is awful, you can only imagine how I picked up a foreign language.  It’s actually quite funny because my senior seminar class grade was based on one mid term and one 50 page paper.  RIGHT? I had to write 50 pages and they had to have proper grammar and spelling  (Incase you wondered I got an A-).

(My dirty secret is that I don’t blog like I wrote papers in college.  I put far more time and effort into college than I do a blog…).

My blog is a flow of my thoughts to the screen.  I don’t (and I never will…sorry) worry about grammar as much as if I had grades on the line. Maybe if I had paychecks on the line each month, I would.  But now…I am just making enough to break even, enjoy my hobby of blogging and build a network of friends.

I don’t really have a point to this post I guess.  My blog is a reflection on my life.  Some days there is a point to my posts, some days it’s just me thinking out loud.  I find that my blogging is more of a reflection of my own life versus trying to reflect to others.  I guess that is why blogging would never be a good career choice for me.  I would rather reflect upon my own life versus post about trivial products that I’ve never even tried.

I have a lot of real life friends and family that keep in touch through my blog.  I have a lot of readers that I’ve never met in real life.  I enjoy the connection I have with each person near and far.  I always appreciate the support but I do appreciate negative feedback because it helps me grow.

To be clear I’m neither attacking any bloggers or attacking GOMI. I’m just writing out my thoughts that whatever you do you’ll have feedback both positive and negative.

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  1. The fact that your blog is a reflection of your life is precisely why I read it, and why I read blogs in general. Blogs based on product reviews and barely any content get old really fast. I also connect to you more than other blogs I read since you’re not that much older than me. Each blog has a target audience I guess, but I feel like young moms are a BIG one for bloggers. So keep doing what you’re doing… you’re such an inspiration for being so honest!!! 😉 (But really, appreciate the honesty as always).

  2. I’ve never heard of GOMI (and sure won’t go there now!). Sounds like, as you said, haters. There’s a difference between constructive feedback and sniping or being vicious or personally attacking.

    I like honest, authentic blogs and am glad you are trying to stay on that path. I hope to as well. (I’m still pretty new, but have the advantage of a day job that wouldn’t let me get sponsors/advertisers even if I wanted to). I hope that the people I want to reach and engage with appreciate candor, humor, and imperfection – welcome to being human! I also get your point about life offline…your priority of course must be to yourself and those in your “real” life.

    You keep doing YOUR thing and those of us who enjoy it & support you will keep reading! Just let the rest fall away, they don’t matter anyway.

    Wishing you the best.

  3. I have talked about the ‘unreality’ of blogging, and try to be honest in comments while always being respectful. It is a fine line, and I have gotten into a couple of heated discussions while trying to advise caution … for someone who ended up injured after pushing on. It is a hard thing … but I think we could all benefit from some more honesty – but handled respectfully.

    I have also seen the thread about you at GOMI, and being positive I can say that there are some people who are very supportive of you and there seems to be generally positive thoughts about you as a person and so on. As for the rest … well, to quote Harry Potter “troll in the dungeon … thought you should know.”

    Personally I come here and read and comment because of YOU. You are really pretty wonderful, quirky, funny, and thoughtful. I don’t diagram your sentences and pass a value judgment on you based on that … and really the people who do should spend more time reading what you are SAYING rather than picking apart every grammar error.

    Keep on keeping on! 🙂

    1. I’ve rather enjoyed your last few posts on similar topics. The last year I think I’ve grown as a person and really grown up. A lot of these comments I can see are justified but with anything everyone is entitled to their own opinion!

  4. I rarely proofread either…sometimes I’ll go back and reread after I posted and if something is really off I will edit it later. I do think feedback can be helpful to learn and grow up at the same time this is your place to write however you want. It is so important to have a life outside of blogging!

  5. I can tell that this is more of a “venting” post, rather than anything else. Nothing fantastic ever came without criticism, or even GOOD criticism, at that. I only recently came across that site, and was pretty sure it was just a hen house for bloggers. *le shrug*

    You carry on with this lovely bloggie of yours. It inspires, it motivates, it’s informative, it makes me hungry (the diner pictures are killin’ me!), and it’s YOURS. 🙂

  6. Great post! I love that you called out GOMI and confronted the things posted there 🙂 To me, I blog for my own personal reasons and share what I want to share. I don’t blog to appease others and, if they like what I say and do, great, and, if not, there are a lot of other blogs they can read! I applaud your honesty and sincerity in staying true to yourself and your maturity in accepting criticism.

  7. uh oh better watch out for those grammar police 😛 I’ve always shook my head at GOMI, it’s one thing to spend time reading other people’s blogs, it’s another to spend time not only reading but then critiquing blogs. I guess I value my time more.

    kuddos to you Hollie, you’re genuine and it shows.

  8. I am not a proofreader either and sometimes I get a little paranoid about it, but I have other things to do, and I can’t spend all my time perfecting each post – I’d never last. It’s more important to me to get the post up there! And being totally honest, I actually found out about your blog from gomi and although the thread wasn’t all good – it made you seem cool enough that I’d want to start reading you and I was right 🙂 Gomi kind of makes me sick a lot but I do still like to see what people have issues with with different bloggers to get a different perspective than the rainbows and butterflies once in a while.

    1. I am not down with bashing people but I’m not down with the amount of kissassing in things I don’t believe in. I always appreciate your comments Michele!

  9. Haters gonna hate! But likers gonna like, too. Don’t like how I write or what I write about? Ummmm, don’t read it!!!

  10. I understand your frustration and the venting. It’s your blog and you have the right to write however you want. The call out doesn’t make as much sense if you’re not “learning” from the negative feedback (not that there was a lesson to learn). You’ve mentioned before that proofreading isn’t your thing – fine, end of subject.So writing another post about the same topic just fuels the fire, doesn’t it? Either this post is about acknowledging that you learned from the feedback or receiving pats on the back (mentioned in your post) and I’m not sure which it is. Whatever the reason, I don’t know that it had the effect you were after for GOMI.

    But, if you’re using their complaints as blog fodder, that’s kind of genius.

  11. The only time I’ve ever been on GOMI, I saw a thread about you which said that you were the only blogger who kept it real and thus the only one many of them liked, so I can definitely corroborate what Mike said earlier. I like how you see most of the stuff they say as learning/growth opportunities and let go of the rest. Not many people can do that, so it says a lot about your strength of character and self confidence that you. Keep doing what you’re doing, hun. I love coming here day after day to see what YOU are doing and thinking in your world, and I know I’m not alone in that!

  12. On other blogs that are all positive ALL the time, I feel like if I reply with anything less than “rah, rah, rah”, then I am a complete outlier. In those cases, I just don’t comment at all. On your blog, there isn’t anything you say to hate on but you provide topics for thought and we can respond however we want based on our true stance. I never feel like I can’t be honest in a comment here. I’ve also appreciated, so far, all your readers’ comments. It seems like a good, honest group 🙂 On some other blogs it’s just way too syrupy for me. Anyway, I think your honesty fuels your readers’ honesty. And I learn a lot from the comments as well as from your original posts. So thanks.

    1. I’ve always wanted people to feel like they can respond and chat to others about their personal opinions, This blog is my personal journey and is all my opinion. Some posts are just me thinking aloud with no real point. Those types of posts I always hope someone has thought the same thing and can relate.

  13. I enjoy reading your blog because it allows me a glimpse into your life and who you are. I find many of your blogs to be thought provoking and some not particularly interesting to me. I don’t think that’s much of a surprise since I’m older than your parents. 😀 The grammar and spelling are incidental to the thoughts you are trying to let flow. Keep going as long as it is something you enjoy.

  14. GOMI is just awful sometimes. I wonder why some of them care so much about certain bloggers. If they didn’t like certain blogs, don’t read them? But – I bet some of them get a kick out of making fun of bloggers.

    I think many people are afraid/too timid to leave comments that offer some constructive criticism. I’ve seen too many times when one leaves a critical comment that other readers will bash the original commenter. OR the blogger just deletes the comment and/or blocks the reader.

    For me – I don’t post much about my day to day life on my blog. I’m also not super popular, so I don’t have sponsored posts (actually I decline 80% of them) all that often and have never gone on a conference/trip that was sponsored. I could also care less if my writing is A++ or not. Like you I don’t put “university level” effort in my writing.

  15. Thank you for this post. Thanks for your honesty about the purpose of your blog and how GOMI makes you feel. Everyone’s human and makes errors. I write a ton for my work, proofread my written projects, and errors still remain–it just happens.

    I also want to commend you for not backing down on the GOMI issue. I was on their last week to read the Oiselle thread, which was amusing to me in how much time some of those commenters devote to hating a small business, the people who make up that business, and the people who support that business. They mentioned you and you–ballsy gal that you are–stepped right up, identified yourself (a rarity on GOMI), and fired back.

    It’s a cliché, but it’s true in your case: thanks for keeping it real.

    1. Thank you seriously for your comment. I agree that no matter what you are doing in life you are subject to some error. I’ve written close to 1000 posts now do here is no way every single one could be perfect.

      I don’t normally respond to threads about me but I didn’t want a rumor to get out of hand when it wasn’t true. Everything on there spreads like wildfire!

  16. I would rather someone call me out on something I’m doing that is incredibly stupid or unhealthy, rather than giving me a pat on the back and pretending it is, OMG THE BEST THING EVER. But there’s always a right way and a wrong way to go about it. I know a lot of people lack a certain gift we like to call “tact” and for that the world is a sad place. I read a lot fewer blogs these days because it seems like there is a lot of “look at me, I did this great thing, even though it was stupid” going around. I’d rather you were real and honest about it all, which you are.

    TL;DR: Thanks for being you.

    1. You are the best. I agree that my blogroll has dwindled to a few blogs that I can relate too and that are pen and honest. I will never “call someone out” on their blog but I have sent a few personal emails myself.

  17. I wasn’t judging your grammar or lack or proofreading when I posted that on twitter!! 😉 Totally not hating on you personally. I don’t read your blog enough to pinpoint mistakes, but I guess I’m just being judgey of this particular blog that you writing this makes me realize is silly on my end; blogging isn’t life for most people..

    I am jealous that people are talking about you at all on GOMI! Means you are well-read anyway!

    Keep doing you, girlie.

  18. I appreciate a million things about this post. A few…. 1. It shows you can take feedback (+ or -) 2. you are real, open and honest 3. Yes, sometimes I feel like people just sugar coat everything instead of being real. And for the record… if you went and ran 50 miles I’d call your ass out on it, but that’s why we are best friends. Because we can call each other on shit.

  19. I always find that grammar critic is the strawman’s feedback. Yawn. People mess up their grammar in real conversations on the street all the time, so it’s a waste of time that we get so hung up on it online.

    GOMI is a funny concept. IMO it wouldn’t exist if a lot of HLB bloggers didn’t previously/still moderated their comments. Anytime you restrict speech, there’s a reaction. Information wants to be free. GOMI is that reaction.

    As time goes on and there is more honest feedback in comments and on Twitter, it’ll become irrelevant and will fade away. I find it hilarious that the majority of bloggers don’t understand this and add fuel to the fire by painting this picture perfect lifestyle they live with all the unicorns. Personally I keep feedback in comments & Twitter, because I want others to do the same to me.

  20. I like your blog cause you’re real! I hate reading the same things over and over on blogs and WHO HAS TIME TO POST 10000 PICTURES A DAY OF THEIR FOOD EVERY. SINGLE. DAY?! I do go back and proofread my posts but I also don’t post regularly. It doesn’t take much time. I really do like your blog and really like reading about your life, with your own train of thought. I like that your blog isn’t so structured and boring!

    1. There are some blogs that I could literally predict every post each day of the week…if that is your thing then great but it’s not mine. Ha ha

  21. Also, I just went on GOMI to read what they say about you (and others). If then do not like it, DO NOT READ IT. Also, they’ve never met you.

    End rant.

  22. Keep doing you, Hollie! And let the haters hate. 😉 But seriously, we can’t make everyone happy, and people value honesty and authenticity. I love that you don’t make apologies and always keep it real.

  23. GOMI is terrible. A website devoted to hating on others? Who are THEY to comment on you, when they spend their time just ripping on everyone else? Obviously they were never taught “if you don’t have anything nice to say…”. Some people (not in reference to you) even claim to “hate-read” which to me sounds like a ridiculous waste of time and those who do so probably need a hobby.

  24. GOMI is a tough one for me, and I like the way you framed this post. I think it’s super important to be true to yourself and write your blog the way you see fit. That said, it’s also important to be cognizant of things you can improve on, and sometimes hearing the “real” opinions of lurkers can be helpful. Having read a thread or two on GOMI, I’ve got to say – if their biggest complaint about you is that your grammar is terrible (which you freely admit), you’re doing pretty well. There’s a lot of admiration for you on that thread, too. Kudos to you for using the criticism in a positive way and handling it maturely! Not everyone can do that.

    1. I agree with you Danielle. I’m not against GOMI at all and I think there is a lot of truth in the forums. It’s always hard to read critique on yourself but everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

  25. Hi, I didn’t read the comments above. Hopefully I wont be completely redundant here. What is GOMI? Shoud I care?
    Our blogs, especially the free ones, are our soap boxes. We get to stand on them and say what ever we want. I don’t always write about running and I’m sure I often say stupid or incorrect things. But just like you, no paycheck on the line here. I also tell everyone that I’m not a professional anything.
    It is unusual to receive negative feed back. I enjoy a commenter that disagrees with me because I like to have a dialoge w/ my readers. This is too rare unfortunately. Even rarer is someone calling me a complete idiot. i’m sure I deserve this on occassion!
    I think that when most people disagree they just hit “delete” and go on to the next post notification in their in box. I think the indifference and dissagrement people are the ones we never hear from.
    I often hit “like” just to let a blogger know I read their work. I thinks it’s important to let peopel know you stopped by and took the time to read their work.
    Sadly I have fewer “likes” and comments that I would like to get, even with my growing following. I refuse to say inflamatory things or write about controversial topics just to get a reaction. That’s no who I am and I think readers are looking for honesty and openness.
    Cheers – Andy

  26. 1. I must live under a rock. I have no idea what GOMI is 🙂

    2. “I find that my blogging is more of a reflection of my own life versus trying to reflect to others” YES! exactly why I love you!

  27. I’ve never noticed the grammar and I usually do! I don’t ever judge anyone blogging on grammar since most of us do this in our free time and don’t spend a lot of time writing or proof reading since its not our day job!

  28. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve read what they have to say on GOMI — way too much negativity for me. And while some of the things they say might be spot on, a lot of them are just crazy off base, especially considering they make assumptions based on a tiny, filtered window of someone’s life. That and I honestly don’t understand why anyone would read something just to snark on it. If I don’t enjoy a blog or blogger, I simply don’t read… What’s the point in “hate reading” and putting other people down? I understand constructive criticism, but that still doesn’t give anyone a free pass to be straight up mean and disrespectful.

  29. I’m not saying spelling and grammar aren’t important, but they’re not representative of one’s intelligence. Everybody understands what you’re saying and realizes that it’s a mistake so who really cares when you make an error? Questioning somebody’s intelligence because of a simple grammatical error is just ignorant.

  30. Haha I have never heard of GOMI. But I don’t think I will be looking them up. I would appreciate constructive negative comments but otherwise it’s not helpful to me. Side note: when I typed in GOMI, auto correct made it HOMIcide. Made me chuckle haha

    I love ur blog, it’s sarcasm, humor, and real life issues and day to day life. We have been blogging buddies for so long and I love it 😀

  31. I’ve never heard of GOMI either… I don’t think grammar is particularly important in a running blog (for a political or book-club blog I might think differently). unless either you are using it as a platform for something bigger than it is (i.e. careers-related, marketing, journalism etc..), or it is so disruptive that it makes it unreadable, and neither of these are true in your case. I also think that it is evident from posts prior to this one that grammar is not your focus in trying to get your ideas down. I don’t think your readers care, and unless you want a career as a report-writer/journalist/proof-reader/English teacher then I really don’t think that you should care too much either!

  32. Your matter of fact conversational tone is EXACTLY why I LOVE reading Fueled By Lolz.

    Jumping on the OMGPOSITIVE train you discussed, I feel like you are one of the only bloggers who comes across like you are having an actual conversation, not reading a piece of writing. As someone who has been told they write in a stream of conscious (totally true) in a not too friendly way, I appreciate feeling like I am listening to Hollie, not, “Hollie’s curation of Hollie.”
    Ok that probably made no sense, bottom line, I like your style 🙂

  33. You handled this really well. It would be so easy to get pissed off and call people out. Some other bloggers have and I think it ended in a not so pretty way. Dare I say…well written 😉

  34. Oscar Wilde said, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” If I don’t like a blog I don’t continue read it. Plain and simple. I think of blogs as like a diary or journal and if it speaks to me, I’ll read it, regardless of grammar and spelling. I had never heard of GOMI before and after going on there all I could think of is “Really GOMI? Really?” No one has to love everything but to actually spend the time to pick apart someone and their blog just seems like a sad way to spend your day. (and took me back to 6th grade)

  35. what bothers me about GOMI is that if they feel SO strongly about certain blogs to “hate read” & take the time to consistently read something they don’t enjoy & then continuously bash it.. why the anonymity? at least bloggers identify who they are and share their true thoughts, feelings & don’t hide behind snarky forum handles.

    i’m particularly a fan of “promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.”

    life is too short! 🙂

  36. I love the message that your blog is a journey of your life – I feel the same way. It’s basically a cross between an online journal, information, a record of my running and training, and other stuff. A compilation. I don’t really relate to the obsession that some people have with bashing blogs consistently and picking apart every little thing, but I would guess that in some part of themselves they actually enjoy it like a soap opera, except it’s someone’s life.

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