the better story

I’ve been a little unsettled lately. About how I want my business to grow. I feel like I am where I hoped I’d be when I quit my job and jumped into self-employment. Things are moving and growing, opportunity rolling out her red carpet. I have been holding back, trying to figure out why.

I am not afraid of failure. I am afraid of a certain kind of success. I know really successful people – in the blogging world, in the writing world, in the art world. And one thing they deal with freaks me out: people say really mean things to them and about them. I am not cut out for heavy disdain, for the gossip and rudeness I see on their websites and social media sites. My famous friends are stronger than me. I think about shutting it all down when I think of myself in that arena. I don’t want to fight that fight. I am not “bigger than that.” I don’t “come back stronger.” My skin doesn’t “thicken.” I am open and vulnerable and I like that about myself. Words can hurt my feelings and deteriorate my drive.

But I don’t make choices out of fear! I mean, that is lame! (right??!!) I shine light on the things I want and they stick around. I don’t engage with things that I don’t like. Remember that Cherokee story about the hungry wolves? Talking about the online world: I don’t have alerts set up to tell me when I am mentioned, I don’t know who says what about me, I don’t look at my analytics, I don’t know about other people’s analytics, I don’t read about online trends, I don’t know about the optimal tweet, share etc. Those things curb my creativity and assign a qualifier to me just being me. By the way, I consider praise to be as troublesome as snark. Do you think I am being a bad business person for not paying attention to this part of my industry? I don’t. I am being the business person I want to be. I do my thing. I do it with integrity. I jump in where it feels good. I do read what inspires me, I do read what challenges me, I do engage in productive conversation, I do enjoy and crave critique, I do listen to the voices that sing peace and momentum, I do self-evaluate all. the. freaking. time.

I got this comment on my last post. It seemed like spam but it might have been from a person. I texted my friend and she wrote back. “Why is it a relief if it is from a robot but it means something if it is from a stranger sitting behind her computer somewhere in the world who obviously doesn’t know you even a little bit?” I loved that question. The answer, of course, is that neither matter. But, again, words stick. I was affected, even if only for 10 minutes.

Last week I was in the library with my kids checking out books about cheetahs, orcas, horses and fairies. I walked down a book-columned aisle and right there laying on a shelf was Steal Like an Artist. I checked it out and read it that night. There are hundreds of sentences I noted and loved and reread. But there was this one paragraph that so succinctly resonated in my bones.

The best advice is not to write what you know, it’s to write what you like. Write the kind of story you like best — write the story you want to read. The same principle applies to your life and your career: Whenever you’re at a loss for what move to make next, just ask yourself, “What would make a better story?

I reread that quote when I felt hot and misunderstood by the comment.


She read the comment and believed she was lame. She sunk into her chair at the computer and read it several times and then wondered if others thought this too. Maybe it was time to hang up her online career if she can’t even handle a little mean jab? She wondered if she had been a fraud all this time. An hour passed and she picked up her kids from school, a sweaty mess of anxiety.

She read the comment and it stung. Maybe it was time to hang up her online career if she can’t even handle a little mean jab? She deleted it, deciding it was neither kind nor true. She texted a good, honest friend who gave her great advice. She joined her co-worker in her studio where she had an invigorating conversation about growth, insecurity, authenticity and art. She got some work done, she practiced waving bye bye with her employee’s baby. An hour passed and she picked up her kids from school, an empowered, content force.

86 Responses to the better story

  1. Annie says:

    That’s some good, hard internal work you’re doing. What a great reframing of perspective….

  2. Jo says:

    The hardest thing I’ve ever had to learn is that most of the time, a mean comment is not a reflection of you, but of the writer. They look at you, and for some reason, see their own flaws. Don’t let it get you down! Odds are, they are trying to make themselves feel better about something negative in their own life. You are an awesome mama, wife, and maker!

    • Oh, this is so true! All of it. I echo this sentiment!

      When I published my first novel, one critic made a point of saying “the cover art was the best part.” I cried and cried and then realized I hadn’t written the book for that guy. I’d written it for my dad — who loved the story. My mission was accomplished. His sad need to belittle me said loads about his current struggle, not my work.

      Keep on, Digs. You are an authentic voice we all return to for a bit of joy.

    • dig dig says:

      It is a hard thing to learn. I am still learning it and will be. But I know the truth there.

  3. Elena says:

    I think you are a fantastic, thoughtful and strong person. I admire you. Many of your posts leave me teary eyed-most often from the beauty of your words and the thought behind them. I know you are not asking for validation, and that is what makes it real.

  4. Ali says:

    Great! For us introverts, just going to the store feels like publishing a story for the world to read. This is really helpful.

  5. Sara says:

    I read your stories because you are true to who and how you are. That is what is most amazing and most wonderful about you!

  6. Ash says:

    I think bloggers are very brave and I commend your openness and vulnerability. My take on negative comments is that really it ain’t about you. The commenter is projecting onto you and it’s about them. Maybe you don’t have thick skin, but your back can repel water?

  7. oh Nici I hear you. I really hear you! I was all gung ho when my famous blogger friends came to me, stung with the hateful comments and sites out there. I was all ‘ra ra, who cares what they say, come back stronger, what is wrong with the world, be a beacon of light! They don’t know you, you know you, ra ra!”

    Then it happened to me, and I realized that it just wasn’t that easy.

    Still struggling, still trying to figure it out. Also, still scratching my head how anyone could have anything negative to say to/about you.

    I love you, your life is gorgeous.

    • Christal says:

      Oh, yes, Lina. So true. I hope both you and Nici continue writing because there are those who do cheer you (both) on and enjoy your writing and photos.

      And for myself, I wish I could express myself 1/10th as well as either of you.

      As for the blogosphere, I think one of the issues is that we identify with something you wrote at one time or another and keep reading and then sometimes you say something that doesn’t jib with the picture we built up in our head about you. I read Diana Gabaldon’s books and pop out to her blog/web page every once in a while because she publishes snippets of the next book and she has some interesting comments. One of the things that struck me was how she is matter of fact and down to earth about how she’s living her life not stopping or starting or ONLY writing that next book no matter how much her fans want her to be at their beck and call.

      Melina… I’ve lived in Steilacoom, Washington right by the water and Hope Mills, NC only a short drive from those beautiful mountains and warm water beaches. So, I vicariously enjoy short memory visits to bygone times when I read your posts and look at your photos. And I want to be your friend because you are fun, interesting, and make me smile. And you remind me of a younger person I once was who lived for the water and friends. I believe that your past has made you one of those few people who realize that friends and family (and the pets in our lives) will always be more precious than money or a place or things.

      Nici… I live in Montana now, and came to dig from Kelle’s website. I read your posts and think, “What a beautiful life they’re building for their family. I could be friends with them.” I love how you incorporate art into your life and writing. I envy you this time of your life because you see my little girl grew up and lives far away, and yours are there with you. And you are a smart enough mom to realize those days zoom by and figured out a great way to be there with your girls more hours of the day (and still create). I don’t think you will ever regret that decision. Your gardening skills enthrall me. Your ability to look at something — new, old, recycled — and showcase it while still seeing and using it practically is fantastic. You inspire me. P.S. I also like how you show optimism and enthusiasm for so many things in your post and you also are willing to tell us of those not so perfect days or lessons learned or thoughts that may be sad, or hurtful, or scary.

      P.S.S I don’t know if I’ve said it before but I’ll say it now, if either of you ever find you need help from a friend or a place to stay in my town … please feel free to ask or tell me. Because I will.

      • Meghanssj says:

        I am not a famous blogger, but I’m a pretty dedicated wannabe and follower! I found Kelle, then Nici, then Melina, then Christal by following your lovely instagrams and reading your blogs and noticing the connections you’ve forged both in person, or over the ‘net. Your blogs are the blogs I never miss. There are only a short list of them that I go to, and go back to ever week. I need a little glimpse of light and freedom and different perspectives and all 4 of your blogs give it to me. You are all women I admire from afar. I am different from all of you. I don’t have kids and I’m not particularly outdoorsy (in the winter at least). But I love people, and growth, and experiences, pretty things, glitter, my family, other people’s kids, my hobbies, cooking, travel, parties, art, vintage stuff….. One of my greatest fears with being successful while pursuing a passion of writing and blogging and just little creative interludes in instagram is that the haters/doubters that show up. I admire the courage you all show is sifting through the bad feelings. Don’t let them make you hide your light. The world needs it, I need it, I appreciate it and I’m glad you are all out there. You four are great inspirations, and people I’m glad to “know” through the photos and stories you share. Bravo, and carry on!

        • Meghanssj says:

          p.s. for a person whose blog isn’t updated much, or much followed, I have to share my sort of funny experience I have with negative commenters. I once shared a recipe based on a Pioneer Woman recipe, but made healthier. Did you know there are people out there who have blogs dedicated to hating on sucessful bloggers? I am sure they exist for others, but I have never bothered to find them because I don’t care for negativity. One or two of these bloggers found my recipe, and bothered to come to my site just to rip on the poor Pioneer Woman. I mean, she isn’t for everyone, but to waste your precious time spreading hate about someone you don’t even know across the web seems like a sorry waste of time. To whatever extent you can, let the ludicrousness of someone bothering to spread hate melt some of the sting away.

        • Meghanssj says:

          And, I meant to say I found Nicollete! I am sure you are lovely too Christal!

          • Christal says:

            I was immediately concerned… there’s another Christal out there writing a blog and connecting it to me! How dare they. LOL I’m way too exhausted trying to work full-time and go to college 1/2 to full time.
            But every once in a while I stop lurking and actually comment because reading this blog and a few others gives my brain a rest and puts a smile on my face most nights.

      • dig dig says:

        Your point about generating an image of a blogger based on the collection of ideas you’ve gleaned through your own filter is such a good one! I’ve experienced this before.

  8. Jennifer says:

    I love this . Thank you for sharing.

  9. Tara says:

    I too am a vulnerable self-evaluater and I absolutely agree that praise can be as dangerous as snarky, but regardless I want to offer some praise. I am grateful for this space where you share bits of who you are and what you like. I’m grateful for your perspective and the beauty you portray in a state that’s not too far off from my own, but looks worlds different. I am grateful to escape to this space while my kiddos nap and I try to regain my sanity and refresh my composure ;) It could be argued that there are many other blogs out there that provide perspective, beauty, vulnerability and a whole host of other great things your readers glean from your blog, but there is only one Nici at Dig this Chick. You are unique; you seem awesome and genuine and relatable. You would be greatly missed if you hung up your online career. Thank you for sharing with us!

  10. Nicolette says:

    Well, hey. I had 8 mean comments yesterday. On my unknown blog. Mean ones. About how dumb I am. I’m still tortured by ego-bruise-itis. These types of unfriendly encounters are not fun. I don’t care how many times some tells me to blow it off. Just as I don’t accept unfriendliness in real life, I’ll never accept that that’s just the way some folks are.

    I like this conclusion that you said, because I came to the same: I don’t need this shit. But I’m not quitting. I’m going to keep at it and keep trying and today I was able to speak truth to a real life great friend about the things that I actually think about myself that are underlying, and what make the negative commentary of others sting so. Constantly being told that you are faultless and impenetrable does not catalyze growth.

    We discuss this a lot with our small business, which sometimes takes a beating on the online food rating community places. If you are going to take the negative feedback and blow it off then you might as well blow off all of the positive feedback too. The positive can become diluted and the negative feels so intense.

    Also, I think it’s hard for folks to read this type of truth that you are laying out here and not want to build you up in a way. I’m going to resist that urge because I agree with you that these types of jabs are meant to ground you. Your response gives me chills. I love your sense of gumption, and I share your values.

    • Kellie says:

      Nicolette, I STILL can’t believe how people go out of their way to be mean. It seems so 2nd grade bully to me…

  11. Jill says:

    I think connection is one of the best things the Internet has ever done for us. But I think the comment culture that has resulted is one of the most destructive. I am afraid to post things on Facebook for the reactions of friends and family who disagree and are not afraid to let me know how WRONG I am. It’s hurtful and debilitating. Or at least, it can be if we let it. Nici, way to prove that we are all bigger and stronger than the hurtful things that come our way. I love the quote and lvoe the perspective. May we show compassion to those who harm us and learn to live our lives in confidence. Amen.

    • Christal says:

      What a kind and thoughtful post. Both of you, please ignore the naysayers, and post as you will. I’m on a mission to add positive thoughts, kind deeds, and creative loving gestures to the world. I’m optimistic today that it will spread and overwhelm the negativity. And if it doesn’t… I’ve tried and may have brightened someone’s day or thought.

      • dig dig says:

        Yes! I have a friend who, every time she sees nastiness online, visits three blogs and leaves anonymous comments full of support, encouragement and kindness. Three to one.

  12. Jenny says:

    I always wonder if the people writing hurtful comments realize it always makes that person look horrible, not the person they’re trying to tear down. Sorry, someone hurt your feelings. I think you’re brave and honest and kind. Thanks for sharing with us.

  13. MirandaS says:

    Thanks for writing this. I found it encouraging. I’ve just returned to a new job from maternity leave & have been having some confidence struggles! I want to be fully present though withy child & not caught up thinking about other things…Like your rcples highlight there’s a choice point which will move us towards or away from being the person we want to be both for ourself, our family & our community.

  14. Hilary says:

    I love your blog. Your stories. Full of heart and soul. Thank you for sharing it with the world.

  15. Sarah says:

    I love your blog, your writing, your attitude, your wisdom. I am nearly 10 years older than you but you are so much wiser than me. I honestly think any snark is jealousy. Glad you went for 2! Big love Sarah xx

  16. Jill says:

    I love this so much! It is easier said than done, that’s for sure, but when you can look at something in a different way and choose a better path, that’s a win!

  17. Cydnee says:

    You are brilliant & one of my very favorites.

  18. Caroline says:

    If anyone can, YOU can create a NEW reality – where success and negativity do NOT walk hand and hand. Beautiful, eloquent, authentic post. Why we love you.

  19. kwqrs says:

    Ooooh what a bummer that people don’t always follow the “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all” way of being. But door #2 is definitely the way to roll. You are one of the most honest, up-front, authentic voices I read on the interwebs… I love how you follow your own lead… keep on being exactly who & how you are.

  20. Cassie Webster says:

    I adore your blog. I admire the way you live your life. Just keeping being you – that’s what we all love. Cassie from Down Under :) xx

  21. Sheri says:

    I will echo the truth that stinging words are generally just the commenters own issues. What a convenient format to project a person’s insecurities–anonymously online. If the words don’t come constructively or from someone you know and respect…just leave it where it lies and don’t let it into your heart.

  22. Jessica says:

    Don’t feed the trolls! When Ben and his partners started promoting their 3D printer the negative comments were astounding. He was amazing and defended what he could, educated where he could, and changed the mind of several commenters. That being said, sometimes we give other people’s opinions too much credit when we are trying to make positive changes in the world. Some people just behave like dicks and it’s okay to scream “You’re a dick!” at the computer at the top of your lungs. Helped me at the time.

    • Christal says:

      Jessica, I loved your comment. And now I’m going to have to scream at the computer and have the dogs and my husband wonder what’s going on. : – )

  23. Emily says:

    “An empowered, content force.” I think that you should use the positivity to lift, keep lifting everyone else up as you go. As artists, we have so many choices, don’t we? It can be overwhelming. Keep on rockin in the free world, sister.

  24. Stacey says:

    “…vulnerable… I like that about myself.” Enough said. Keep on embracing your humanity and all will come or go as it should. (You already know that though, I think.) As always, thank you for sharing your art, your family, your self. xoxo

  25. Abby says:

    One fact that I have had to accept in my life is that not everyone is going to like me. It’s really that simple. Even though I really, really want everyone to like me – I mean, why not? I’m nice. I’m funny…I think-then doubt and worry creep in.
    I am who I am and you are going to like me or you aren’t. I have to let it go.

  26. meriah says:


    My husband and I recently sold or gave away almost everything we own and we are traveling the Pan American Highway. I’m deaf (with TBI and PTSD) ; my daughter had Down syndrome – disability is part of our picture.

    I’m mentioning that because it’s been really hard to have the courage to go and create that better story that I so want to tell – and to boost myself, I read “Telling a New Story” almost every day. It’s from Esther Hicks, and while the Abraham stuff sounds almost achingly cheesy at first, the message they are giving is that powerful stuff you are talking about in this post.

    Like, shine the light on what you want. Tell your story how YOU want it told. It is what you believe it to be.

  27. Yes! Fist pumping for you. Now I want to read that book. Have you ever come across Donald Miller’s “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: what I learned while editing me life?” The whole book is about exactly this. It was a tremendous source of encouragement to me while my husband and I adopted our son from Russia. It was a very long and difficult journey but it made for an incredible story! During the hardest times I wrote the script to the story in my mind and it inspired me to keep going and get my beautiful son HOME. I think you would resonate with it!

    Thanks for this post! I adore the quote you posted.

  28. sarah says:

    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. -Theodore Roosevelt

  29. Kathie says:

    I had a semi-political blog for a number of years using a blog-handle that was gender-neutral. This was because it is a known fact that female bloggers seem to attract hundreds of times more vitriole then males from “anonymous” wunderkinds (in their minds only!). That is one of the problems with the internet unfortunately. People who would never have the courage to come up to you in person and say the things they do – to your face – are suddenly empowered by the facelessness of the behind-the-keyboard to say all kinds of things they would never dare to say to anyone’s face. I remember after one post, I was attacked by some troll (we call them trolls – cute, no?). He ranted on for several ‘pages’ calling me all sorts of names and disparaging my upbringing. My site had a picture of a crystal cave and featured a man standing in it. The troll assumed the man was me and made even more nasty remarks about my physical characteristics based on the picture. Quite funny actually. When it was all over, I sent a one sentence response – “I hope you feel better now”. And then deleted his entire rant so my readers didn’t have to be exposed to that hot mess. Of course some of them had already read it and they all thought I would be upset by it, which I naturally greatly appreciated.

    The upshot is, you are a great writer with a masterful way with words. There just are people out there who are unhappy in their own lives for whatever reason. Because of the anonymity the internet affords them, they use it to lash out in an attempt to make themselves feel better, or bring you down to their level, or something. It doesn’t work – any of it. The only thing that does matter is your response – and that was PERFECT!


  30. Lise says:

    This is one of my favorite blog posts of all time! Thank you for your honesty and openness. I’ve been attempting to birth my own blog for a while now, working through huge fear blocks, and your post and reader comments have given me a lot of courage by helping me see that other people are just as vulnerable to negative feedback as I am.

  31. Brit Girl says:

    Just adding my voice to the comments and my support to you – I so love reading about your life and adventures. It warms the cockles of my heart! Please just keep on being you and doing what you do. And, yes, definitely option 2 is the better story.

  32. Sareh says:

    Thank you. I’ve had so many of these thoughts and I haven’t even had a negative comment yet. I’ve started digging in to why I’m so averse to criticism. I’m rebuilding my photography business and pursuing writing and blogging more intensely and I’m constantly wondering if I can do it on my own terms. I want to create and tell stories for the joy of it, for the satisfaction; not for the clicks. If I’m honest with myself, I would like to be successful and accomplished but I’m not sure I can count the cost. But beauty is birthed from pain. And if we’re writing a really good story, every plot line needs some conflict I suppose.
    I’m so glad you’re sharing your creative self with us. The way you open up your thoughts and parts of your life spreads beauty and makes me think a little harder.

  33. trbholt says:

    BRILLIANT Burb! Your words are so wise, so thoughtfully written and I, of all people, know you speak from your heart.
    I wish I didn’t care when people say unkind things about me but I do. All one can do is know that perceptions are not truths.

    LOVE you so…Mom

  34. lara says:

    oh girl, my heart and creative spirit echos/aches similar feelings of empowerment/motivation, vulnerabilities, and fears. it is what most paralyzes me from moving forward in my next endeavor. it’s a tricky beast, eh? truth is, we have to decide what is most important: a career that allows for more flexible time with our loves? one that fulfills our creative side? one that provides great personal/professional satisfaction? what can we live with and without? perhaps scaling back to scale forward? i don’t know. while there is something for everyone, i know my something will not be for everyone. i get this … but gah, tender hearts … while one of my most treasured characteristics, can also cause such unsettlement and torment, however brief or lasting.

    thank you for sharing this piece of your heart and experience. i look forward to hearing more about your musings in april at WDB. if not in workshop than perhaps on a run in the thick northwest forest or while gazing at the april skies with a cocktail, of course,…see you there!

    • dig dig says:

      those questions up there! Did you peak into my brain?! ;)

      I always remind myself that it can change. In an hour or tomorrow or in 5 years. What a privilege!

  35. Neeeeeeeco says:

    I just wanted to amend my (long) comment above: I think that what I meant to convey was that I didn’t think you were necessarily wanting a whole lot of ado about how awesome you are and to “f those haters.” Also, I think that I’ve probably made it clear, in a sometimes sycophant-ish way , how cool I think you are and I know that when I want to discuss negative comments it’s not an outpouring of praise I’m after…

    Make sense?


    • dig dig says:

      Your comment was received with your intention. Thanks, lady. Glad to “know” you here and I’m sorry you dealt with a shit storm last week. No fun. xo

  36. Kat says:

    Just a couple of quick things. First, thank you. I am glad that someone else does not buy into the fact that you need to know every little thing said about you online. I keep seeing how as a business owner with an online presence we need to be keeping track of everything. I’m not so sure that is true for our own personal mental health. And second, please keep writing and posting pictures. You remind of the things I liked about living there. We just moved away from the Missoula area and there sure are things I miss (along with some I don’t). Besides, I really like your writing style and your subjects (your kiddos) are about the same age as mine, so you tend to write very pertinent posts to what I am seeing in my own life.

  37. sian says:

    It would be weird if we weren’t hurt by unkindness. I really struggle with this all the time. I could hear ten good things and one bad thing and all I would see is that one bad thing. It crushes me every time. Then to add to it, I beat myself up for caring so much what someone else thinks, I mean I should be stronger and more sure of myself right? Its also exhausting to live trying to make sure everybody likes and agrees with me.

    Lately I have been trying to lean into things more mindfully. You know?Feel that sting because it was hurtful. My reaction is my reaction because of who I am. I try to look at it, take time with it, notice how I feel. Weirdly lately that feeling of anxiety over the hurtful things goes much faster this way. Especially as I am not adding to it by getting frustrated about whether or not I should have the feelings I have. Feelings are feelings nothing more. They come and go. They are there to be listened to and then let go. Does that make any sense? I’m sensitive and empathetic and maybe that is okay. Wait not ‘maybe’ definitely. It’s an ongoing process lol

    See it, feel it and watch it leave is my new motto.

    I love your blog and your family. It is a constant source of inspiration to me. You remind me to follow my creative spirit whatever direction it goes. You remind me to take time to love and enjoy my family. I hope you don’t pack it in. I and many others would would miss you xxxx

    • dig dig says:

      See it, feel it and watch it leave.

      I LOVE THIS.

      So true about honoring what we feel and waving it on. Life keeps moving and we miss important stuff if we nags ourselves or stew on a negative thought.

  38. I like your courage, vulnerability and successes. Perhaps they all spring from the same place. xo

  39. Britta says:

    Holla. (said in my best un-hip Wisconsin accent)

  40. sara paul says:

    Haters gonna hate. What a shame. We’re all in this life doing the best we can, shit, I thought everyone knew that. I can imagine what it might feel like for you – we’ve all felt totally misunderstood. But you rock. You just do. In so many ways. Hell, I bet your fans could beat up THEIR “fans” any day of the week. I say, bring it. Pshew. They don’t have no fans even, DO THEY? Nuh uh.

  41. Ariel says:

    I don’t comment here often (due to time), but I want you to know that I read (and love) every one of your posts. I’ve been a loyal ready for the past few years and you are my favorite blogger (and I read a lot of blogs)! I am so inspired by your lifestyle, by your drive, by your business, and by your outlook on life. Thank you for sharing it with us!!

  42. Kat says:

    Such a powerful way of reframing it all Nici. Thanks for giving–and sharing!–perspective. Keep on keepin on in that beautiful way you do. It grounds and lifts up all of us.

  43. kelly says:

    Have you ever read the War of Art by Steven Pressfield? That’s another good one for beating resistance. :)

  44. Alannah says:

    My friend Lori recently referred to an older post of hers. I think you’ll appreciate this too.

    When something bad happens in her life, she tells herself “PLOT TWIST!”

    It enables her, for at least that brief moment, to remove herself from whatever bad thing is happening in her life. Much like “what makes a better story,” these sorts of things allow us to plug into the storytelling aspects of our own lives. They provide perspective and hopefully a little helpful objective outlook.

  45. Daniele says:

    I’ve been a reader for years now. I used to comment on every post. I gradually stopped….not intentionally or for any particular reason….other than maybe kind of feeling like my one little comment doesn’t matter or is lost in the shuffle. I know better though, words do matter. I wish I’d still been letting you know how your writing brings me (and my husband) much happiness! I know I’d have a tough time in your spot too. I tried blogging for a year…and I could just never feel at ease with putting myself out there (and this was only to like 40 readers, ha). I give you big bloggers much credit! I know this is a business as much as a creative outlet, but please know that to many, you and your family feel like old friends :) I’m sure the people who feel like me outnumber the negative commenters 100 to 1.

  46. Cathy Smith says:

    I wear my heart on my sleeve. If I post something on Facebook and somebody doesn’t “like” it or comment pretty damn quick, I think it probably was lame and delete it. I am a born joker and sometimes people just don’t get my humor. Sometimes things just don’t translate in type. Then I am offended. How stupid is that?? You just flip your hair out of your eyes and keep on keepin’ on cause you rock. :)

    • dig dig says:

      Cathy, truth is never stupid. Sounds like you want your response to change, however — so that is an exciting place to be! The facebook system is built on user feedback so that is tricky. Your growth (mine too!) will come from within, when you decide what and if you share and then let the wind take it from there, trusting that if it felt good and right, then it was.

  47. Kimmy says:

    I see the term “hater” used so often in blog comments. Please define it for me. Is it someone that “hates” you, someone that does not agree with you or someone with simply a differing opinion? Hate is an incredibly strong word to be attached to a differing opinion.

    • dig dig says:

      It’s a pretty new word (I think? It seems recently popular anyway…), developed out of the increasingly volatile comment culture on social media sites, online articles etc. Bummer. I certainly think there are people who approach the online world from a hateful perspective but I don’t think a differing opinion is hateful. Those seem like very different things to me. I think the word means a person who flings criticism with the intent to hurt or make fun, using mean language. It is the people who choose to engage this way who define themselves, who invented this word and its popularity. I think it is all about intention. I have received a few hateful comments, as most people online have. They have a few things in common: assumption, nasty language, judgement, anonymity and vagueness (like it could be said to anyone to hurt their feelings; baseless and mean). Different opinions? Bring them on!

  48. kendra says:

    oh, i want to write one…. i’m sure there could be another story in here too, but here’s one just for fun:

    3. She put it all out there, time after time. In an instant, a mud-slinger slung ugliness right at her. And she found herself crying in the mud. She felt abused, confused, misused, and sat with that awhile. Then she took off her shoes and let the mud ooze – between her toes. She played in the mud, and made some muddy pies, and shared them with the world again. So that we might see beauty.


    • dig dig says:

      This reminds me of a text I got from a friend:

      “Usually when something gnaws at you, it’s because it reminds you that you aren’t where you want to be, which is generally somewhere loving, strong and gracious. I think when you can genuinely receive a comment from a hater with gratitude; a grateful reminder that you were raised with love and kindness, that great love exists and is more beautiful when held up to its opposite, that so many choose to write something positive instead…then you will be where you desire to be.”

  49. Tammi says:

    Well, I admire your honesty and the ability to always analyze things and then share it so poetically. I’m looking forward to learning from you at Write Doe Bay and hope you find peace with the Haters. That’s got to hurt like heck. Keep your chin up and keep on, keepin’ on. xoxo

  50. Cara Windle says:

    We all feel and doubt… it’s the people with strength that are honest and open about it and have the courage to talk about it to the world. Sensitive people are more relatable and tend to be more kind to others. If you have a few haters out there just know that you have so many more fans that value everything dig. Keep fighting that fight against your inner self to really know your worth and truth and the haters will become silent no matter how bad their bite. Keeping feeding the good wolf!

  51. Sara says:

    I totally understand, and I think I’d be the same with negative comments. But you seem like someone with a sound family foundation, you consider your decisions and do what is right for you. I think you should feel confident to withstand comments, based on thinking – what is a silly mean jab that reflects more on the mood of the commenter, and what is something that perhaps inadvertently strikes a nerve. In general, not based on you or your blog at all, popular businesses or bloggers receive a lot of praise, which is also a mixture of the truthful and the silly. It comes with the job to get negative feedback, and sometimes it will be something that might be true that a business or blogger doesn’t want to hear. So I think in an ideal world it would really be about the truths in your own life – a comment could only affect you insomuch as it refers to a reality you already know about, which would mean it wouldn’t really be ‘about’ the comment. But I know that is so much easier said than done, and it is horribly easy to agonise over things even when they should be irrelevant. You are right about not letting fear rule for sure, I guess we all have to decide what is fear and what is reasonable self protection.
    ps. don’t want to go off topic but can I put in a quick request for more posts about pioneers or family history etc – I know there must be so many stories there! You’ve prompted me to get all the children in my family reading Little House.

  52. daniele says:

    My comments usually don’t show up for some reason :-\

  53. Anna says:

    I have been enjoying your blog since Ruby was a little new one. Now that I know you so well and we are friends and all :) I just have to offer you some kindness and good intentions sister. Look out here comes some free advice (!) —1. Don’t take yourself too seriously. 2.Humility goes a long way
    Think about it friend…

    • dig dig says:

      I am always open to kindness and good intentions, so thanks for approaching me in that spirit. The nature of this post is confessional, shit on my mind. Unedited — literally I wrote it fast with no intention of publishing but was encouraged by a friend. Inherently, a personal blog contains ego so there’s that (which is hard for me at times). This post was an exhale — a shove away from some ugly, uncomfortable feelings. I chose to share it here because of this kind of conversation and the others it generated. If you’ve been reading me for over 4 years you probs know where my life-approach and self-awareness sit with your 2 points. I get it if this post didn’t jive with your idea of me. However! I always appreciate a well-timed reminder to play more and think less. So, thanks.

  54. Tammy says:

    You are an honest, open and inspiring person. I read all your posts, and follow you on IG and FB. You are one awesome person. Do not change a thing.