How Becoming a HuffPost Commenter Boosted This Writer’s Self-Confidence

One commentary coming right up.

Commenting about issues and hoping to make a difference, is truly empowering. Instead of reading trolls ridiculous mudslinging on CNN.com, USAToday.com, and several others, I became a power commenter, thanks to The Huffington Post. The moderators can keep you pending but that’s a small price to pay to avoid crossing the troll bridge.

A lack of confidence kept me from engaging right away. Who, I wondered, would give a damn about what I had to say. Then I had an epiphany.  Maybe they wouldn’t want to hear what I had to say, but maybe they would Mary_Catter.  The name’s a play on Alice Adventures in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter. Then I made Tigger’s looking out the window image my avatar, and thus Mary_Catter stepped through The Looking-Glass.

For a long stretch there wasn’t much I wanted to comment about. Then I read a real infuriating article. It was about Todd Aiken’s interview in which he stated if a woman was legitimately raped her body could shut that whole thing down to avoid getting pregnant. That such a Neanderthal zealot could end up in the senate forced Mary_Catter into a passive-aggressive battle.

I marched a battalion of words across the rectangular box reserved for them. The comment was brief but heartfelt. Even if only one person liked it I would still consider it time well spent. So I sent my message to the cyberverse battlefield and returned to my manuscript. Surprisingly, the words flowed like lava. It seemed the mere act of commenting exploded the writing muse inside of me.

Hours later when I returned to Huffington Post lo and behold several notifications awaited me. I clicked on the word notification. To my relief and surprise, they were favs, one F&F and a reply gushing about how she loved the imagery. Of course I thanked them by fanning them and that dear friends felt really great.

I quickly grew drunk with power and found myself commenting with mad aplomb. I’d encountered like-minded individuals, mostly political junkies like myself and I was thrilled I tell you, absolutely Tom Cruise jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch thrilled. Finally I had validation that people, complete strangers, liked what I had to say.

One guy, at least according to the picture, suggested I post more. So I did, mostly comments about political happenings.

Commenting on The Huffington Post news website was just the confidence booster I needed. It’s like toastmasters for those afraid to put their thoughts out there. Along with this blog, Huffpost is now my designated hangout when I’m taking a break from my manuscripts.  If Mary_Catter reads something that elicits a response, she will put her mad paws to the keyboard and bombard you with her words.

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