“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
The past couple weeks I was fortunate enough to get a few select pieces of my work featured on Thought Catalog. With that, came the epiphany that I was writing in a secure bubble. Up to this point, most of my page views came from people who were on my Facebook, word of mouth, or people who I handed my business card to randomly. While I did get a tiny bit of sporadic haters, most of my feedback had been positive and constructive. All that changed when I exposed my misogynistic, sexist, racist, and apparently, homophobic writings to the legions of Thought Catalog readers.
While I pride myself on my rhino skin and ability take criticism like a man, I was surprised at the intense level of hatred I got towards my writings. Then as my ex-girlfriend “Little Ruskie” said to me, “You do have a rather annoying attitude towards women and call them sluts. You should expect it.” She was right. If I was going to continue to write in my aggressive, chauvinistic style, then I needed to be able to take push back from those who suffer from sand in the vagina syndrome.
I say it was a 60/30/10 split in the type of comments I got. 60% of the commenters went into a fervor intently aimed at ripping me apart because of the indignation I lashed out on women and racial issues. Some of the responses were simple as, “you are a disgusting excuse for a man,” or “Raul Felix is a second rate Tucker Max wanna be.” While other’s went rather in-depth about how I was wrong about the points I’ve made and that I’m nothing more than a misogynist, sexist, racist, and a terrible writer. Those comments clearly lacked thought in my opinion and I responded to them in a sarcastic manner because I thought it would be funny.
The 30% were more well thought out comments that sometimes agreed with me somewhat or disagreed with me completely but brought some semblance of intelligence to the discussion. With those, I responded with the utmost respect. I’m always eager to learn, improve, and see things from another’s perspective, especially about things that I write. I had a great time having some rather insightful conversation with those people who took time to not be trolls.
10% were people who supported me, agreed with what I said, and found it humorous. I must say, I did enjoy this a lot and it was a good ego boost (like I need one) to know there are people who took what I said for what it was: satire and humor. These are the readers who motivate me to keep writing because I don’t ever want to disappoint them. I’m very thankful for their support and some of them even stood up for me in the comment section, which totally made me feel like a special little snowflake.
This is just the beginning. Despite all the negativity, no amount of hate is ever going to cause me to quit going after my dream. My dream is to be a writer, write on a professional level, and eventually evolve into one of the best wordsmiths of my generation. I have an opportunity and I’m not going to let a few jabs at my ego stop me. I feel like a young man, who has grown up his entire life in the safety of the suburbs, where people were cordial and supportive, venturing out into the big city for the first time on his own. Now, as I take my first steps into the cold, heartless city that is the writing world on a grander scale, I keep my head up and my scrappy attitude on point. I’m charging into the fray that is being a writer on a big site. It’s a place where people are more than eager to tear you down, spit on you, nit-pick every single one of your mistakes, and hope for your failure. A place where very few are your friends and most will find a reason to hate you no matter what. A place where they see your failure as a victory for themselves. Its place where you have to be strong to make it and if you’re weak, you’re going to get eviscerated.
I have a message for those who seek to see me quit: it’s not going to happen. I’m not a pussy who quivers and cries to mama when the world knocks me down. I’m not a dreamer who has these grand plans, but takes no measurable steps to achieve them. I’m not a man who talks shit, but is unable to take it return. I’ll tell you what I am. I’m a man who writes under his real name and is going after what he wants in life and isn’t afraid to tell you what he wants, feels, or thinks. I’m a man willing and putting in the hard work and long hours needed to make it in this world. I’m a man who is ready to put up with rejection, abuse, and make the sacrifices necessary in order to meet his goals. I’m a man you can’t keep down no matter how much you want to or how many of you there are. Most importantly, I am writer, whether you like it or not. I’m tapping away at the keyboard right now because I have the intestinal fortitude required to do what so many claim they are able to, but so few are actually willing to. Surrendering is not an option for me and I will be dead before I do. When I do die, whether I am world famous or an obscurity, I will have no regrets, because I went for it and didn’t look back.
“You motivate me! What else you got?” Taking The Hits
15 thoughts on “Into the Fray”
You could have saved a lot of words by simply saying “blah blah blah my vagina hurts.”
I did forget my vagisil.
I like your writing style,its not the boring shit you read everyday.Keep it up man!
Raul! Don’t worry about those people who disagree with your writing. You keep doing what you doing and achieve your goal of becoming a writer!
Sigue para lante! (I think that is how its spelled! lol)
Of course man. I’ll never let anybody stop me.
Hey Raul, I just read your latest post on Thought Catalog, so I came here.
First thing is, those people trolling you do have legitimate reasons for doing so. I don’t like the way they behaved, especially to someone who actually cares about these issues like yourself, but it’s not something I can just dismiss as the reaction of an uncivilised, unthinking mass. It’s a culmination of the experience of facing shitty people and shitty attitudes day after day, their whole lives, and constantly being told (by upbringing, parents, schools, what have you) that this is the way things should be. So while it’s great that you’re responding positively to those who DIDN’T troll you, and taking it as a learning experience, you should be taking a step further by acknowledging the context in which much of the troll responses came up, and respond accordingly.
Which brings up the second point, of understanding that mindsets and language are MORE than political correctness. It’s not about ensuring that you say the right things, but being sincere about RESPECTING people. And by respect, I don’t mean showing deference or special care not to trample on someone’s feelings. I mean acknowledging, and showing in your behaviour and treatment of people, that they have much agency, potential, intelligence, dignity, etc., as yourself. It includes, for example, not using your context as the reference point for evaluating their actions and judgements, if at all, by not discounting their views and their actions as invalid. So when those trolls did all that, you don’t invalidate their anger by dismissing them as the result of having their heads up their asses all the time. You recognise that they have valid reasons for their anger–reasons that don’t disappear or become invalidated just because things have gotten a little better for some of them.
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Aw, you’re definitely sexist, but I don’t think you qualify as a racist 😛 Internet people love to hate on anything and everything, just ignore them.
Yep. It’s quite fun to push their buttons.
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Was in my freshman year of college when you wrote this. Huh. This was a good read, and inspiring to say the least. There are more opportunities to be a writer in this age. There’s just a lot more to learn as there was in the old publishing world. Mainly it’s advertising by building up your social media networking skills and SEO than sending a manuscript to some big publishing site. I read a great article that was similar in regards to journalism today. Pretty simple when you get the hang of it, but still requires those modern logistics that I personally cannot get the hang of. Best of luck.
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