That title pretty much says it all, but I wanted to take a moment to clarify my position on Truth Tea. I originally spoke about the niceties of quilt blog land when I asked what happens If You Can’t Say Anything Nice
? It resonated loudly with a lot of you. There were very polarising opinions about the feedback that should be thrown about in not only quilt blog land, but through social media in general. Quite robust discussion–I must say–and without being intentionally condescending, I’m proud of us for having such an open dialogue about it!
My new wannabe
best friend, Brooke, at april | two | eighty
recently released a blog post called, To Be Honest
. In it she details some self-imposed misconceptions and insecurities that quilters have, some quilters’ self-empowerment anthems, her own version of Truth Tea, and then a kick-ass, pastel quilt. Seriously, you should read her blog post
! Why I bring this up, is because I want to make sure no one is confused about my intentions of Truth Tea. Like Brooke, I want you to say “Whatever…” to anything or anyone who makes you “…feel less than amazing.” Truth Tea should lift your spirits, give you energy, and make you want to be the best creator you can be.
This is exactly the crux of Truth Tea: being able to say what is on your mind without fear of recourse for having a considered and valid opinion. Truth tea is not
about being an online bully, and projecting your opinions about the creations onto the creator. Once upon a time I called some
of the scrap vomit quilts I was seeing all over blogland, “fugly.” It was a flippant, jocular remark. I still think a lot of them are fugly, but I could have chosen a word less loaded with colloquial insult. At no point was this an implication of the makers, but of my own taste buds. As Brooke says in her To Be Honest post
“what it all comes down to is this, plain and simple: be you, be proud of it. if you’re an artist, make what you feel like making. if you don’t have enough time, feel good about what you do have time for. don’t be ashamed of your work or your favorite things, and don’t be ashamed if you feel like you’re not fitting the mold – make your own!”
And that goes for anything I say, too. Your voice is just as powerful as mine. I’m no more special than you, and we are all full of stars.
Like so many of you said in the original post’s
comments: know your audience, and respect the time and place you want to give some Truth Tea. For instance, if a person is blogging about their limited skill sets with zipper installations :::waves::: add some sugar to that tea, and hold the lemon! Ask permission before giving specific feedback, and you’ll find it is so much more well received. Start with the positive, and work your way to the opportunities. Eliminate the words con
from the entire discussion.
But all of you know this, because you’re always so nice! So that leads me to the other side of the discussion. Truth Tea gets really watered down if you throw out superlatives like they’re last season’s Manolo Blahniks. I’m so guilty of this, too, though, because really, I DO LOVE SO MANY THINGS. I see bright colours, or shiny bits, and rainbows, and I just want to eat them all up, and give their creators the biggest hugs for bringing such beauty (that I appreciate), into the world. Alas, here’s the impasse: when the time comes, how do you elevate that which is truly special past what you have already raised to the roof?! Currently, I don’t know either, and perhaps it just a result of the current cultural phenom of “Likes” and conveying emotion in 140 characters or less.
I will leave you with this story: Grandma Sparkles has an older brother (my Uncle Junior) who I will always remember as the happy recipient of her sweet, homemade pies. I’m talkin’ chocolate, lemon, pecan, cherry, apple, coconut, blackberry, pumpkin, you name it, and Grandma Sparkles can make a fabulous pie out of it. Anyway, after the pie was eagerly consumed, the question would always be asked to Uncle Junior, “Did you like the pie? On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate it?” To which he would, without fail, always respond, “Eh, I’d give it about a seven or eight, the pecan might get a nine.” Now, once you’ve had Grandma Sparkles’s pies, you know they’re worthy of at least a twelve on a bad day. So I would ask, “But they’re soooo good, Uncle Junior, why only a seven or an eight?” And he would say to me, “If I gave her a ten, she’d have no reason to try to improve!”
That’s just some food for thought. Now, can you refill my glass of Truth Tea to go with that pie, please?