The Emotional “Cost” of Blogging: The not-so-secret downside to writing about your life on the internet

Blogging and Anxiety - The fear of what others think shouldn't prevent you from doing something you love (but really, that's easier said than done)

My blog is an accident.

Not the kind of “I just got hit by a car, woke up in the hospital with no legs, and went onto crusade for more wheelchair access in public places” accident, rather it is more like the “Oops, I’m accidentally pregnant and I guess I did sort of want a kid, ok let’s keep it” accident.

[Side note – Now that I’m reading this again, that analogy seems kind of stupid. But I also couldn’t think  of anything else.]

I think everyone starts a blog at one point in their life – popular starting points are during the first couple weeks of college, during study abroad, and directly after graduation as you figure out what you want to do in the “real world.” A couple friends and I started study abroad blogs in the weeks before we boarded flights to our respective countries for our weeks, semester, or year of study abroad.

Of course, all of us promised to update all the time with fantastic stories of our time abroad. So, naturally, none of us kept up with it for more than a month.

Except I had one distinct blogging advantage – Ryosuke. We were living apart (me in Tokyo; him an 11 hour bus ride away in Akita) and he loved to read my blog. So even though I wasn’t particularly interested in blogging, I loved him and I loved the “publicity.”

It was only later that I realized the “publicity” was all fake. Ish.

Ryosuke knew I checked my daily blog stats, so he used to sit by the computer watching “Game of Thrones” while refreshing my blog page several times a week so I would be excited about the one hundred page views I got that day. He was smart about it too – it wasn’t just the same post over and over again. He would cycle through them.

He also used fake screen names to leave super-supportive (grammatically incorrect) comments on new posts – because that’s what true love looks like.

I didn’t fully realize how many comments he left those first couple months until I learned how to check what IP address each comment comes from. I saw that several pages of comments came from the same IP address, put two and two together, and called Ryosuke that afternoon to laugh at him.

I’m not even joking. My husband left close to a hundred comments the first six months I was blogging. That’s what true love looks like.

Ryosuke also knew how narcissistic and competitive I was. All he had to drop was drop a couple “I bet you can totally beat everyone else at Ursinus College blogging” and I was hooked. In retrospect, blogging was rather therapeutic those first couple months as I struggled to “find myself” in Tokyo.

What I’m trying to say is that I never made a conscious decision to blog. And since I never made a conscious decision to continue blogging, I also never crossed the bridge of whether I should stop blogging.

Until now.

Now that I have enough of a blog following to justify putting “blogger” in my LinkedIn byline, I’m running into all sorts of problems I never thought I would deal with. Hate mail, stalkers, people who want to have very specific and factual arguments online, trolls, and the stress of trying to keep my blog’s Google ranking keep me up at night, so to speak.

I get more views in one day than I did in my first 8 months of blogging, combined. In the last six months, I hit over half a million page views – and counting.

To some, this doesn’t seem like a lot. But I’m not used to being scrutinized. When I was in fifth grade I abandoned all hope of being the President of the United States because I realized the cost of being a household name. It is impossible to have an opinion that everyone agrees with; it is impossible to do anything without offending someone; it is impossible post something on the internet without pissing off both extremes.

I try to post about the train groping epidemic in Japan, and I get “All you f*cking feminists are the reason the US is failing,” “Women just make up these groping stories for attention” and “Japan is such a sick and disgusting country, why would you want to live there?”

I try to write about interracial dating, and I get “You’re only with an Asian man because you can’t handle a ‘real’ white man” and all sorts of horrible generalizations, racial slurs, and profanity about Asian men or how my white privilege allows me to cherry-pick the “best” men from any race.

I know so many talented bloggers who have given up because of hate mail.

And really, I get it. I’ve hidden my Facebook account and only use my Ursinus email on my blog, so I can deal with blog-related emails on my own time. Every time I see a new comment on my blog, I get a small spike of fear.

I’ve been dealing with anxiety a long time now – and some days I just can’t muster up the courage to leave the house. Ryosuke thinks it’s kind of cute (and really, he’s so supportive about everything), but when I was living in Tokyo, I went entire weekends without leaving my apartment. When I was at Ursinus College, I would sometimes lock my door and turn off my light when I heard friends coming, because I didn’t feel comfortable enough to be outside.

That’s just my life.

So you can imagine how I feel about hate mall, flame comments, and trolls.

I don’t even read the negative comments on my blog anymore. If I can tell it’s going to be bad, I skip over it (everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I am not obligated to read what they write). If I see profanity, personal attacks on other commenters, or inappropriate sexual comments, I delete without reading.

It’s just easier that way.

The worst came after the “8 Questions Interracial Couples are Tired of Hearing” post I wrote for Huffington Post. It went viral, amassing several million views… and weeks of emails psychoanalyzing what sexual, mental, and personal things were so wrong with me that I would stoop so low to marry an Asian man. Or angry Asian women who were upset I had “stolen” one of the “good ones.”

I have good days and I have bad days.

Blogging has given me the thicker skin I so desperately wanted.

All my life, I’ve craved acceptance. I couldn’t handle rejection – personal or professional. I never learned how to.

I cried when I got my first hate-mail. I cried when I got my first death threat. I cried when the first person told me Ryosuke could do so much better than a “crazy, American sexist b*tch [me].” I used to read every comment, even the negative ones, over and over again, looking for some kernel of truth. Were they right? Did they know something I didn’t? Through my writing, could they see something wrong with me everyone else was too polite to point out?

Eventually, I decided they didn’t know anything.

I haven’t cried in months, now. The punches just roll right off. I think.

I’ve come to realize that it is completely and 100% impossible to post something on the internet that everyone agrees with. A 50% approval rate is pretty remarkable – and I get one negative comment for every 10 – 20 good ones. I think that’s progress.

I’m not going to quit blogging.

This last week, I made a conscious decision to continue blogging. Sure, blogging eats up time, causes stress, and might one day prevent me from getting a job in the future. But it’s also fun.

And I’m not going to stop doing something I like, just because I’m afraid of what people might think (Thank God I finally got to that point. It only took living abroad, graduating college, being hospitalized on four continents, and getting married to realize it).

I love writing.

But I want everyone to know about the emotional cost of keeping a blog in this day and age. Words hurt, especially when they are used to attack someone who has laid their heart out.

Anonymity brings out the worst in people.

No matter what you do, what you post, or what you reply, people will be personally offended.

My only advice? Don’t feed the trolls. Don’t read personal attacks thinly disguised as a comment. Always forgive. Always forget.

Don’t let fear prevent you from doing something you love.

 

 

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Add me on Google Plus: +Grace Buchele

About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

149 Comments on The Emotional “Cost” of Blogging: The not-so-secret downside to writing about your life on the internet

  1. You know what Grace, Your post made me cry, honestly it was emotional and inspiring. I am just about to start a blog and this post is great for me cause it has already told me not to stop. I really like you for this, so deeply. You have inspired many through this and you must never stop writing because your talent worth a lot. You are great, you are inspiring… PLEASE NEVER STOP THIS, it doesn’t matter what people think, it matters what you and your fans think. We love you and your writing. :)

  2. I have been watching your channel since 1k subs and reading your blog. I find it fascinating and you are making me think I can follow my dreams of living in japan, thank you

  3. I am happy that despite everything you continue to fight on and share all this with us, because as you said, the percentage of good feedback is bigger than the bad one (and the bad one really is people with too much time in their hands), personally I think that if you do not like something you should restrain yourself from reading/watching it and specially say anything negative about it, it will not help anybody the hurtful words you will say. And I do live by what I believe in, heck I don’t even give thumbs down on YouTube! Pointless I must say.
    I love your videos, your blog entries and your comics and I hope that as long as you enjoy it you will keep on doing it, for I would say that a lot of people like what you share.
    Thank you for all your efforts!

  4. I actually just discovered your youtube channel 2 days ago and have been binge watching your vlogs. I absolutely love hearing about your life in Japan. I realize it must be difficult to put your whole life out there in public but I appreciate what you do. Thank you!

  5. Hi. Thanks for the post. I’ve been trying to decide if I want join something like Bloglovin to give my blog more exposure. I haven’t done so simply because of the same reasons you listed. I’m not sure how “public” I want to be. I know it would open up more opportunities, but also know it makes me more vulnerable. Blogging puts you right in someone’s living room, and them, in yours. I’m not sure my skin is thick enough yet. Any advice?

    • Hmmmmm… Vulnerability is hard. Knowing what I know now about blogging, I don’t recommend it to everyone. It can make you a stronger person (and has a lot of benefits), but it really does take something out of you.

  6. Emily West // 5 December, 2015 at 6:18 am //

    I’m so glad you didn’t quit! I have been mildly benging on your videos and comics for the past few months! I love it! You both are doing a great job and I seriously feel like you are a dear friend even though you don’t know me at all and that’s amazing! (And I realize, a bit creapy haha). When I feel the hate and negativity I just play some Taylor Swift Shake It Off and cheer up real quick. You are so right about feeding those trolls- don’t!

  7. Great post, Grace. I really admire your honesty and courage to tell the world your experiences, good and bad. It really gave me a lot of valuable insights to better understand what other people could have been through. Because I’ve been through a rather sheltered and smooth sailing life myself, so there are a lot of things I don’t know from lack of experiences. Reading your posts always make me want to understand the situation someone else is going through, rather than to judge people first. Nevertheless, hope the situation will turn out better for you in time to come~ Cheers! :)

  8. great post

  9. You’re a strong girl. *hug* keep on! You both honestly give light to our days.

  10. I had a blog for quite a while…until………I found out all my friends, the kindy moms and more were checking it out regularly.

    Then……the passive aggressive comments came in. And the envy, jealousy…and more.

    We live things up – we take trips, we save up money (we try REALLY hard) to take trips often and go splurge once in a while.

    But…oh…the jealousy and hate mail from, like you have said, anonymous people!!!! :(

    On the other hand, I did meet a few nice people through it.

    Now I have stopped my blog… and…a, too busy to go about writing about my life. (too busy actually living it)

    If you would like I’ll send you the address.

    I cringe at the thought b/c…….most of the things I wrote…were things like 3 years ago…and I have changed my mind about so much since then. :P Heh heh.

    For me it was kind of therapy…during a hard time in my life……..to kind of let out my stress and…….share w/others perhaps struggling w/child-raising in Japan, too!

    :) I wish you luck in your blogging/cartooning. Don’t let the negative people get you down. Poop on them and blog on!

  11. I’m so excited to have found your blog! Thank you so much for writing and sharing about your experiences. I think what you write is genuine and from the heart. 心よりありがとうね。すごく感動させた。これからも頑張ってくだいさいね!^-^

  12. I first found out about you through YouTube and I’m so happy I did. I’m on your third book and reading about your life and struggles of a interracial marriage is really amazing. Being a Muslim Arab born in America, currently living in Texas I can somewhat relate to what you feel living in Japan and being ‘different’. Never really being accepted by the American community because I look different can always be a pain. Anyway I just really wanted to tell you that I think your work is AMAZING and it makes me so happy to read and watch your work. The worst part about coping with racist comments is when they’re about people you care and love, when they’re directed at you it’s much easier to ignore. You and your husband are one of the cutest couples I’ve seen, and I don’t say that just because I’m a HUGE fan but because I can genuinely see how much you two care about each other. When people say something negative about my family or friends usually I just turn it around. At first I used to get really offended about what people would say about my friends and family based off of mere looks. So my advice to you would be to always turn the negative comments into something funny that you could laugh about. Here’s a video that better explains what I mean.

    http://elitedaily.com/news/world/american-muslims-facebook-comments-video/1027221/

    (You just need to watch the video)
    I hope you keep doing what you do, always know that there’s a fan that really appreciate what you do! :)

    • Thanks for posting — that video is hilarious/ painful at the same time. I kind of want to post it on my FB page and yet I hate to give the trolls attention.

      The Americans reading it are hysterical, though. They deserve an audience.

    • Oh man… That video. It’s painful but in a hilarious sort of way.

      Ryosuke and I have fun reading through (and laughing through) some of the particularly offensive comments on YouTube. At some point, you just have to laugh (so you don’t cry).

  13. You’re very brave to put your life out there on the net for everyone to read. I’m a new reader and I read off and on when I get a chance but I very much enjoy what you’ve posted.

    I’ve only gotten a few awful notes and 1 was from someone who didn’t agree with a committee I was on at the time for a fan group. The worse part was I ended up meeting the idiot in person and he was really nice (but all I could think of was his comments) so I was polite and didn’t confront him, but a friend who had also been emailed something ugly by them refused to shake the person’s hand and I don’t really blame her.

    My only other awful commentary (I write fan fiction) was a comment someone left that I must be nuts for the way I treated the characters in the story I wrote and I was probably psycho. Mind you, I don’t write any major violence into the stories like some fan fiction writers but geesh… I just told them they were entitled to their opinion but I was going to block them and that’s what I did. No matter what you do, someone’s going to bitch about it. Just the way things are.

    Keep doing what you’re doing! :)

  14. I can’t understand why there are people out there who find it fun and amusing to spread hate on the internet. The anonymity of a screen just makes it easier for them.

    Good on you though for not letting those haters stop you from doing something that you enjoy. You show a strength and a determination that those people who leave nasty comments on your blog and videos don’t have in themselves. That’s why they have to spend time making others feel bad.

    I know from experience how bad not wanting to continue something that you love can be, even if I’ve not experienced half of what you have. I’m glad you’ve continued though. And whenever those haters get you down just remember that you have all the love in the world from Ryosuke, your family and Japanese Mum and Dad. And me, don’t forget me. You have fans who love your videos, your comics and your blog posts. You’ve probably helped more people than you could ever imagine. Feel proud of that and just keep doing what you’re doing.

  15. Haters are going to be haters. I mean, it’s alright to dislike something or someone. It’s even ok to hate it, if you really feel that way. One thing that’s not alright is to express your hate and go war mode like you’d ever be able to do anything behind your computer’s monitor. Usually, when you don’t like something, you avoid it. “Hey I hate you to death, let’s spend some time texting you about it” it’s just like “I hate broccoli soup, let’s eat some more!”. Haters are simply pathetic and I can’t help it but laugh at them. Sometimes I even feel sorry for such persons, but rarely. So don’t worry Grace, be strong and keep up your work! You have an amazing blog and relationship!

  16. Grace,

    I began following your blog not too long ago and in that short amount of time, I have nothing but complete admiration for you. There are many talented YouTube personalities who showcase their life in Japan, but you stand out as the most real, sincere, intelligent and passionate personalities I have been lucky enough to watch.

    I am so sorry to hear of the cruel trolling you (and every other generous YouTuber) have had to endure. This all stems from jealousy, insecurities and self hate within themselves. You are an absolute joy to follow and you offer such unique content for all of your fortunate followers!

    I have been afraid to start my own YT channel in fear of the nastiness that is out there. But you’ve inspired me to get that much closer to making it happen!

    Inspired and loving your hard work,
    Casi

  17. Thank you for writing this blog. You write excellent, entertaining and encouraging prose—I mean not only do you have good things to say but you say them well. Keep writing.

    I discovered your work as I researched my trip to Japan later this year so thank you for all your insights. And give my thanks to Ryosuke for making it possible. It is especially encouraging to see the joy in your relationship.

    Let me speak life to you, to your writing, to your marriage and to your future.

    Grace and Peace

  18. Lizeth Orozco // 5 June, 2015 at 3:30 am //

    I’m so sorry you have to go through this Grace, but be sure there are many of us who truly value everything you and always wait for that youtube notification that you uploaded a new video or binge read your blog ( I only started reading it about a week ago and I always say “one post only” and up reading for an hour) thank you for letting us live through you!

  19. Rosemerryn // 2 June, 2015 at 4:28 pm //

    I was horrified when I read you’d had death threats. There are far too many nutters in the world. :(

    You’re awesome, Grace! Keep doing what you love!

  20. I might be a tad late to the game in commenting on this one, but what the heck. Way to go Grace. You’re a great blogger/vlogger and I love having you as part of my weekly tube binge routine!

  21. You might be under 25, but you are very wise, open-minded, helpful and tolerant! Good to read what you write! Keep up the good work and just know that you did help ppl with what you wrote and I’m pretty sure that writing helps you too :)

  22. Thank you so much for this!!!
    I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for YEARS and this is exactly what i was afraid of (other than the whole -“what do i write”-“where do i start”-“i don’t even have a degree”-“wtf qualifies me to do the thing” thing.)
    To read your story and see your perseverance through all of your work inspires me to take bigger leaps than i would if left to my own devices. Thank you so much for sharing your stories, and i’m so glad you are who you are ^.^

  23. I sympathize! Some days I’m too afraid to check my email, or if I see a note on one of my websites, I procrastinate forever about checking it. In a year or two I plan to start a comic and because I’ve seen so many nasty comments on start up comics as well as so much uncalled for critique on finished art that I have put online in the past, I’m not going to tell anyone where my comic is until at least an entire chapter is posted, because I just can’t stand people glancing at the first page and saying ‘nope’ without giving it a chance because no other pages are out. I’m also on my way to becoming an author and I think, as much as possible I’m going to have someone else deal with people for me, except for book signings. Anxiety’s a bitch. I can’t believe that you’ve had death threats though – that’s horrible. :( I pray that I never get those. On my youtube videos (also trying to start vlogging about hiking,) I have made it so that I get to approve comments before they show up on the page, because there’s just too many trollers out there. On the other hand, I am guilty of having occasionally being one, as I just cannot stand seeing misinformation being spread. I can never stand to go back to such a conversation though; I pretty much state my facts and run. I’m so bad. :(

  24. I understand the fears so well. I never really started getting super open with my ideas, not officially blogging at this second, but—I have this gut-wrenching feeling whenever I put my opinions on Facebook, or even dare open my mouth about a topic—there goes my “friends”. When I show something I really care about, nobody bothers to notice it….it is like they denied me as my deeper person-to not care about say, dying tigers…is to not care about me, either…because of how much I’ve grown up around certain topics that are part of how I live. The silence hurts almost more than anything—knowing they couldn’t even bother to respond in any sort of way—yet after I get my feelings or anger out, the next day all I do is agonize and fear looking to see if anyone commented–to see how horrible and cruel it is, to see how stupid I really am or how much the world should hate me—and how I should expect hatred from the world as long as I live true to myself.

    Being hated by strangers regarding say environmentalism, I expect it at any turn–people don’t care, and they will make fun of anyone who does, I am prepared for those ones….but when your “friends” don’t care, that hurts.

  25. I needed to read this so much.
    I blog since I was 14. Helped me to cope with my fears, my shyness, helped me to open up and don’t explode with all my anxiety. But now, with 26, I hardly write anything anymore. I have no joy in doing it anymore.

    Because I know I can talk about things that are important to me, I can try to open up peoples minds about stuff, but people just DON’T CARE. They aren’t listening. They just want to punch you in the face with all their patronizing, destructive, self affirmative bullshit. They don’t even realize you’re a real person, with real feelings and fears.

    That’s the magic of the internet.

    But then I found your channel, laugh with you and Ryosuke, and I read this. You are so brave! If someone sent a death threat to me, I guess I would never leave the house again. Heh, I guess I haven’t left for some time now, anyway.
    I mean, why would anyone send a death threat to someone they don’t even know? What kind of people could send a death threat to anyone?

    Do we really have to deal with negativity? Do we really need to write to these kind of people, do we really need that kind of “fans”?

    So I quit. Facebook was eating me alive with all the anxiety, so I quit. If someone slightly annoys me on twitter, I block it. If an e-mail seens slightly off, I delete it without reading. Life gets easier that way, but I still can’t find the joy to write again. I was goint to give that up, too.

    But I read this. Only I can rediscover my own motivations to writing, but your post made my day. I won’t give up. Thank you so much, Grace.

  26. I love your blog. I love seeing your view on things and how funny and uplifting they are. I also love seeing someone write about international living. Having lived internationally it is really hard to go back to seeing things as you did before you left. Life gets a huge shift.
    I married really young at 18 and I have had more people try and tell me why my marriage can’t work. Or what my husbands personality is really like without ever having met him. Actually it was funny on the day before my wedding I had my dress maker tell me my then future husband was hen pecked, then a few hours later had my aunt tell me he was domineering. 12 years later we are still loving, and falling in love with each other. ( Okay I don’t know where I was going with that rant) I think what I am trying to say is that you will always see haters in any group. Some are more vocal and angry then others. Good on you for ignoring those who just want to hurt and not uplift. Keep up the blogs, they make my day. :)

  27. Anonymous // 23 April, 2015 at 10:31 pm //

    Please don’t get discouraged! Your posts are exactly what those negative people need to see. Your books, blog, and YouTube channel are helping to change the cultural and societal stigmas in the world. Even on the days when people say rude, ignorant things, know that you are making a difference!

  28. Anonymous // 21 April, 2015 at 4:44 am //

    You are such a breath of fresh air! You seem like such a genuine and sincere person. I have been binge watching/reading your channel/blog and think you and your husband are awesome!

  29. Anonymous // 25 March, 2015 at 4:38 pm //

    This was a beautiful post – and your Youtube channel AND blog are wonderful. I’m also an aspiring Youtuber, blogger, freelance writer, etc., and like you, I deal with enormous social anxiety that few people see or understand (I hide it under a sociable, charming skin, but I’m constantly on the lookout for the next hint of rejection or failure). You, and people like you, really inspire me to keep going and to put myself out there. And yes, you’re a great writer and vlogger :) Keep up the great work. It means more than you know.

  30. I laughed out loud over Ryosuke’s very clever methods for keeping you at the blog. I’m glad it worked, I’m glad you didn’t let the trolls get you down, and I’m glad you are still writing.

    There’s no talking to crazy.

  31. Grace,
    I recently found your YouTube page after I stumbled across Rachel and Jun YouTube page. Ever since then I love watching your videos and reading your blogs. It made me sad that you have gotten cruel responses. Why would anyone treat you like that? Your so kind and nice. I thought I would share some words of wisdom with you that my dad tells me, unfortunately English isn’t my language, so I will try to translate “people will judge you, talk about you. Don’t listen to them because they feel judges by others and lash out.” I think this is accurate enough translation. Also I bought your books on Amazon.

  32. Wow, love your blog and your writing (and thinking style). You do seem to have a thicker skin and great clarity, which I love. I also HAD a blog about my interracial marriage adventure (not with Japanese). And I can exactly understand what are you talking about. I was aiming at a cold and neutral writing style but people wanted to have debates and I didn’t feel like talking, then I didn’t feel like blogging and had that’s how it ended.Anyways, love your blog!

  33. My friend and I visited Tokyo last year for a week – it was fascinating – it got me interested in learning more about understanding the culture and normal life in Tokyo. I just came across your blog via your YouTube channel. I find your blog and videos to provide great first-hand insights into Japan culture. Thanks for sharing your insights, they are much more authentic and interesting than the “TLC-style” documentaries. I just ordered your book as well, looking forward to reading it.

  34. Hi Grace,
    I just found out about your blog and after browsing several pages, I just wanted to say that I find it great and inspirational. I can’t believe some people would send you threats and hatemail when all you’re doing is promoting tolerance and understanding.
    As a girl of asian descent, I’m offended and cannot comprehend why some delusional women would think that you’re “stealing” asian men and I’m also horrified by the ridiculous and diminutive ideas some people have of asian men.
    Lots of people choose not to comment when they don’t have anything (any criticism or counter-arguments) to say against a particular blogpost (I’m usually a silent lurker myself) so I’d say the loonies posting hatestuff are just the usual trolls and stupid people you find on the internet, they’re maybe vocal but by no means the majority. You’re right not to pay attention to them.
    Anyway, the story of how you met your husband and how you both dealt with each other’s differences is lovely and you seem like a wonderful and very open-minded person. Wishing you all the best !

  35. Words ARE more powerful than bombs. // 14 January, 2015 at 8:45 pm //

    You are cunning and determined! You will definitely be able to get your dream job “NGH” some day! I’m so inspired by your strong spirit! I stay at home for weeks at a time sometimes which is similar to that one time in your story. I think it’s normal to feel that way. So I think that means we can all be a bit judgy of ourselves for being odd sometimes, but you beat the doubt right out if you! じゃ!

  36. Hm, I thought quite a while about what to write.
    I think this is a very important issue and not only your post but also the comments did on one hand confirm concerns and on the other hand gave encouragement.
    I too have an asian husband and I started blogging at the beginning of 2014. So far I haven’t gotten bad comments or emails (maybe not enough followers yet?) but ever since I started blogging I kind of expect them and am a little afraid of them as well. Even though I wish I had thick skin I really don’t and I do have this “I need everyone to like me” feeling (which is even to me annoying) and I don’t know how I will react to trolls.
    Next year we will move to Japan and I am als quite anxious about that. Not about the living itself, as I love the country, not about our relationship because I love my husband even more ^^ but about how people perceive me, and us when we are out.
    I’ll tuck this post of yours away to read again when i might encounter on- or offline things I wish I could just ignore.

    I’m following your blog not very long but I enjoy reading about your life in Japan. You always seem to be so friendly and upbeat and strong, I really admire that.
    Have a nice day and a very merry christmas and a happy new year (^_^)

    • Thank you so much! I kind of know that feeling – even now, I get a twinge of nervousness when I check my blog email/comments/etc. Even if you get used to it, there’s still a small part of you that will always kind of dread it.
      In any case, I hope you have a wonderful move to Japan!

  37. I’ve stumbled upon your blog a couple of weeks ago, and I was really glad I did. I enjoyed reading your pieces and since then, I just found myself going through your posts on a daily basis lol. I guess, each and everyone of us has his/her own demons to deal with, and sadly, we can never expect everyone to be pleased nor to empathize with us. But I’m glad you did not let it hold you back from sharing your thoughts and amazing experiences. I feel very inspired reading them, so keep it up!

    P.S. Let me just say this once and for all; You two are unbearably cute together and I know just how much you find yourselves lucky and blessed to have one another. Ryosuke is such a cutie pie. I wish I could find someone like him :D Stay happy and strong!

  38. I like your blog, your comics and the videos.
    :)
    I’m scared of rejection too. But I agree with what you say and I think you are very brave.
    Saludos :)

  39. Thanks for this post! I actually know some bloggers who hire virtual assistants to go through their blog-related email. Anything negative that isn’t constructive criticism gets deleted by the virtual assistant. It sounds like you have it handled now, but maybe it could be useful as your blog grows in popularity. :) Good luck!!

  40. ” Ryosuke knew I checked my daily blog stats, so he used to sit by the computer watching “Game of Thrones” while refreshing my blog page several times a week so I would be excited about the one hundred page views I got that day. He was smart about it too – it wasn’t just the same post over and over again. He would cycle through them.” -this is the cutest thing ever, just made my night!
    Screw the haters too, your blog is awesome <3

  41. First of all I just want to say that I really love your blog, and your comics are adorable! You’re super honest with your observations and I have mad respect for that. I came across one of your videos on YouTube which led me here and now I’m hooked. Seriously I’ve been reading them all day lol. I’m usually the silent observing type (total creeper mode :P) but this post struck the heartstrings enough that I have decided to break that silence, so this is a brand new experience for me here :P I too have struggled with terrible anxiety for most of my high school life and even now into my college years it’s still a daily struggle. I find it so amazing that you have the bravery to put your words and thoughts out there, despite everything, and have created something pretty super! As someone who is personally struggling with the whole “spreading the wings” process, I found this post very encouraging; that despite the fears you can still reach your goals (even if mine seem completely unreachable!!). Just working through it one step at a time is enough. I can honestly say after reading it I felt a genuine sense of encouragement, and a little more at ease with this growing up business, and I really feel the need to say a big THANK YOU!! :) Keep up the fantastic work!! Now with all that out there, time to finish my paper!! :p

    • Good luck finishing your paper :)
      I seriously can’t believe how much my blog has grown since I started it in college. And it really has helped with anxiety.

      But seriously, good luck! It sucks having anxiety in college – especially if you somehow end up with unsupportive friends. By the time my senior year rolled around, I had a great group of people who understood my anxiety and didn’t pressure me to just “get better” – so that REALLY helped!

  42. A friendly supporter // 2 November, 2014 at 11:39 pm //

    Oh gosh! Though I’m so sorry that you have experienced so much hate by trying to share your experiences, I’m really glad that you have, what’s the word, flourished in the sense of growing a thicker skin and finding more confidence. As a fellow person with anxiety, I understand how you must feel! We just have to keep going and keep hoping, huh? (Oh gosh, this is kind of embarrassing) This is one of my favorite blogs and your absolutely adorable relationship with Ryosuke (seriously, relationship goals right here!) and charismatic personality make me enjoy reading your posts! Stay strong, guys!

  43. francaangloitalian // 26 October, 2014 at 2:45 am //

    I’m so glad you decided to keep blogging and didn’t let other people’s comments and thoughts stop you from doing something that you truly enjoy and love. You’re right, talking publicly about your private life isn’t always easy, you share your life with others that can or cannot have the same mentality and attitude you have, in some ways it makes you vulnerable. That’s no easy, I know that, but I guess it’s part of it :)
    Just keep being yourself and writing, no matter what!

  44. Hi Grace,

    I started following your blog a few months ago while doing research on travelling in Japan and I really enjoy reading it! Those people who send you hate mail and racist remarks are just mean, mean, mean. They are making themselves look bad, not you! I’m not in an interracial marriage myself but I have several friends who are – Chinese and Indian, Chinese and Caucasian, Chinese and Malay etc.

    The tips you’ve given on Japan have been really useful for my trips there. Keep up the good work!

  45. *sorry for the typos, my laptop sometimes goes crazy ^^

  46. Hi Grace! Been reading your blogs for a couple of weeks now, I love your comics! I couldn’t agree more with this entry. There’s a saying in spanish that say: “I am not a gold coin for everybody to like me” I don’t know if there’s one in english, I hope you understand what I mean. Greetings from I am not a gold coin for everybody to like me”Venezuela.

  47. Hi Grace,
    Thanks for continuing your work. I’ve seen your HuffPost as well. I’ve always dreamed of going to Japan and it’s reassuring that if an LDR’s in the cards, I have a resource I can go to. The advice has even worked for my college friendships.
    I’m also a blogger and it’s so easy to feel like giving up. But remembering the fact that there are readers out there makes me keep going and it’s not too big either.
    Here’s to more posts! ^_^

    • Thanks :)

      I’m glad you’ve been able to keep it up. I almost quit several times in my first year – back when I was getting like 10-20 views a day… it really didn’t seem “worth it.” It kind of felt like I was wasting my time.
      Now, when I get comments (especially like this), I’m glad I kept it up~

  48. Hey Grace!~
    I found your blog today (after subscribing to your YouTube channel, after I watched one of your adorable videos). All I’d like to say after reading this page is that, I think it’s great that you finally realized that you should always follow your heart and not give in to hate (generated by bigots, probably) and to the pressures of what everybody thinks (I can relate to this one way too much than I’d like to, but hey, I learned an important lesson!).
    I’ve wanted to start blogging, since like, forever, but never found the time. (Why am I saying this?).
    Anyways, what I wanted to say is that, people (peers, relatives, social circles) sort of pressurized me into taking a course, that is perfect if I want to get into a medical/ engineering field, by indirectly implying that my intellect would otherwise be wasted.
    But all I want to do is draw. And paint. And write. And travel a lot.
    “Sure”, they said, “you can always do that as a hobby.”
    And so, I walked straight into the trap. And it took me a year and a half to realize how much stifled I am. It’s almost like the essence of my life had evaporated or something.
    Buuuuuuut, now that I have realized it, I’m glad that all of it happened. Really. Because of it, I know exactly what I want and I don’t care what anybody thinks anymore. :3
    Well, reading and watching videos about other people’s life really inspired me and it’s really, really nice to see insights of people’s life and see that their struggles are not so different from yours after all.
    I’m not sure why I like your blog so much, but I guess you just reminded me of one of my best friends while I was checking out your videos, and you reminded me of me (kinda) when I read your comics and your blog, so yeah :D
    Just wanna say that keep doing what you’re doing ’cause, there are a lot of nice people who appreciate and enjoy it (hint, hint- like me, lol, jk, no wait, I am nice :3).
    Haters gonna hate, just use them as fuels (what?). I’ve heard that haters unwittingly lead to a person’s success, haha, so yeah.

    • Hi Zuya :)

      Thanks so much for the message. I completely agree. It’s really difficult to “go against the flow,” so to speak. I’m lucky my parents/husband/family have been nothing but supportive. It helps.
      Even if it starts out as just a little bit, I hope you’re able to gradually throw yourself into your passions. It really does feel amazing :)

  49. Hey Grace, I’ve been following your blogs for months. I have big interest on Japanese culture and I like your LDR related posts too. Your posts about LDR really helped me during the hard times of my LDR days. Everytime I’m stressed about my relationship I re-read your posts (^-^)
    I’m thinking of making blog and post some relationship-related post there. Not my rants, just some kind of encouraging posts. I plan to share the unique and fun side of my relationship. However I’m not confident enough with my language skill (^_^ ;) and my writing skill.
    And I don’t know if it’s okay for my husband.

    • Thanks for sharing~

      I think writing it out helps – but do make sure you have your husband’s approval before you post it online. I’ve had to take down a couple “share your story” posts because one of the partner’s didn’t like it…

  50. Shingo Nakatani // 28 August, 2014 at 10:26 am //

    Hi,

    I started following your blog about a month ago, but I think you are very good person. As most or all of comments describe you, there are so many people whom you have given better influence. I am sure you have changed many people’s life better.

    It is the power of your blog and although I am trying to touch others’ life to make it better as a teacher, your are doing much better job in my opinion, even you may not have intended.

    So hopefully, you do not give up knowing your blog can change others’ life better. Now as your book will be published soon, hope your series of blog will reach more people…

    I do not know if you have seen a film called “pay it forward” or a book in same title, but I love that film (see; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay_It_Forward_(film) )…

    Good luck for your future and look forward to reading more…

    • Thank you so much! This comment totally made my day :)

      I actually do remember the Pay it Forward movie – I saw it a couple years back and loved it. I hadn’t thought of my blog that way before… but thanks for the idea~

  51. Such a cute story! You husband leaving hundreds of comments to support you ! Why am I crying lol

  52. Anonymous // 23 August, 2014 at 12:14 am //

    Your blog is insanely hilarious and it brought a smile to my face and many others! Cheer up and keep on blogging! ☺️

  53. I’ve noticed how good you are at simply not feeding the trolls. You don’t delete all the negative comments, you simply don’t entertain them, and I always found that to be great :D

    I have a friend from college who has a pretty popular freethought feminist blog and speaks at quite a few of secular conferences, and who gets a TON of hate mail (especially, sadly, when her father disowned her for having a black boyfriend.) She deals with it by occasionally compiling them into a blog post and letting people in the comments go to town with their own hate mail toward the haters.

    Not only do you have to deal with bigoted people like she does, but you also have bitter and envious people, and you handle it excellently :) I never see a comment war erupt on your blog.

    • Thank you :)
      I try to keep the comment wars from breaking out.
      Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion – but if they are being hateful/racist/sexist/purposefully troll-ful, I will straight up block them. It’s much easier that way.

      It also helps that I don’t really blog about controversial things (I have a couple friends who also run feminist blogs and get a TRUCKLOAD of hate-mail. It’s incredible…)

  54. I’m a bit late to this post, but I just wanted to agree with all the other commenters and say that you have an awesome, special thing going on with your blog. There will always be haters out there, but that’s their problem!

    You seem to have such a good head on your shoulders (I’m almost 30 and I was nowhere near as reflective and insightful as you are when I was your age!!) so keep doing what you want to do with your blog. It’s very inspiring to see someone just doing something they love and are so great at – and not to mention be supported by such a supportive spouse. Power to you (and Ryosuke)!

  55. I love your writing and think you’re super intelligent and love your blog..keep doing what you do until you decide you don’t want to do it anymore. Negativity from others has nothing to do with you and has everything to do with them.

  56. Saw this post linked from your most recent post and I can definitely share and sympathize with you on this. I run a gaming blog and when I first began it was just for my friends, for fun etc. But then eventually my viewers grew and of course with popularity comes hate – cause let’s face it, if you aren’t popular – nobody cares enough to hate you. So now I see it as “oh I guess I’m popular enough to matter!” I lost a few friends because of this and yea it was upsetting at first but now I don’t care. I had a stalker as well but a few IP bans and deleted comments and he was gone. At this point Haters gonna hate and I have a disclaimer in my about page – don’t like it? Don’t read it. I imagine your blog may be different since you blog professionally but even as a personal blogger I got this kind of treatment so I guess none of us are immune =P

    • I agree, none of us are immune.

      I always worry that I lost friends running this blog. I don’t know. It’s hard to tell – and, well, as much as that sucks, I really do enjoy blogging. I’m glad you also don’t let the “haters” keep you down!

  57. Hi Grace! I love your blog! I have been meaning to comment and tell you that for a while actually and now seems like a good time to do so. I think people who live unique, interesting lives, as you do, are always going to bring out the haters… those who fear things and people that are different, and those who are just plain jealous. I’m glad you have decided to keep with it!

  58. Well said, Grace. I just found your blog today and I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read so far. I especially admire your willingness to be vulnerable.

    I also suppose this is one of the negative sides to being well known in the online community. You get lots of praise, but you also open yourself to some degree of criticism as well. Not unlike an actor/actress that rises to fame, you get both the good and the bad. I’m glad you’ve decided that you won’t let the negativity get to you. Keep up the great work!

    • Thank you.

      I mean, I always knew that very famous person dealt with this kind of stuff. But I didn’t realize that “only slightly famous” or “only famous on one section of the internet” also dealt with awkward online criticism. Oh well.
      At least I live in Japan so I don’t have to worry about people trying to stalk me to my house or anything.

  59. I love your blog! I started reading because I’m an American who is interested in living or studying in Japan after or during college for a few years because I admire the culture. Reading through most of your posts about Japan and your experiences with your relationship with your husband, I have to say I respect you a lot! I know it’s not much coming from someone younger, but keep doing what you’re doing. I’m glad you fight the stupidity of some people by using poise, it’s the best way to answer to narrow-minded people. Anyway, thank you for giving me a bit of insight on what life’s like in Japan for an American, I’m trying to learn as much as I can years prior to actually going there so I can know what to expect. : )

    • Thanks so much :)

      Honestly, I think it’s so cool how overwhelmingly positive people are relating to my life, my choices, and my blog.

      I hope you get a chance to study abroad/live in Japan. It’s a really fantastic experience :)
      I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  60. It’s really therapeutic to read your blog posts as a lady in a ‘AMWF’ relationship. You have such great insight and lots of good advice and it’s nice just to have someone to relate to. I guess I am sheltered because I don’t blog and live in Seattle with a big Japanese & Asian population and interracial relationships/AMWF relationships are common. However, reading this post I realized how many rude comments I actually get but have let roll off my back (dick size jokes anyone?? Ugh how about not).

    Two nights ago I watched Bridge to the Sun (1961) for the first time and cried. We’ve come so far, and yet a lot of things haven’t changed. I recommend it if you’re never seen it!

    • I’ve never heard of that movie – I will check it out. Thanks!

      I’m glad you haven’t encountered TOO many problems (diverse cities ROCK!). But I’m with you, I have a deep, deep dislike for dick jokes. Like, let’s not, please. No.

  61. Katerina // 18 May, 2014 at 10:19 am //

    I love your blog and living vicariously through it. So many of us dream of going to japan and then the whole falling in love aspect?! That’s so amazing. I bet it’s pure envy causing people to make hurtful comments.

    Anyways, I know it is hard to ignore certain comments because rude ones unfortunately stand out, but you should know so many of us read this and love it but are too lazy to comment. People who comment tend to be either super moved or super angry according to what I’ve read before. Wish you the best, congratulations on your marriage!!

    • Thank you so much. That actually means a lot to me.
      Hah, I remember when I was younger, I always imagined going abroad somewhere exotic, falling in love with someone, and becoming a sort of savy-international traveller.
      It’s kind of crazy to think how much of that actually came true :)

      I’m totally going to keep blogging. I’ve met so many wonderful people through my blog – and it’s really fun documenting my life in Japan!

  62. Eric Janson // 28 April, 2014 at 2:43 am //

    Thanks for sharing such private – intimate, really – thoughts with your readers. You are wise way beyond your years. Whatever anyone believes, there is someone out there who will attack them for it. And if you believe in nothing, the same is still true.
    You state your views with courage and express them well. And you do it with humor and jazz. No wonder your fans way outnumber the others.
    As so many others are saying, please keep writing. Your observations come from the heart, and you have a point of view that so few have. That makes for great and worthwhile reading.
    Normally I would close by wishing that Ryosuke appreciates you – but it seems obvious that he does. Best to you both:-)))

    • Thank you so much. That was a very sweet thing to write.

      I wrote this post in a moment of weakness – one of those days when I was tired of weeding out spam from my email or coming up with some witty to say to defend what I had written. I’ve been blown away by the support and well-wishes I’ve gotten from people who read my blog.

      I think I really resonate with what you wrote: “Whatever anyone believes, there is someone out there who will attack them for it. And if you believe in nothing, the same is still true.” It’s taken a while to realize it, but I’ve come to terms now with the fact that it is impossible to write something that everyone will agree with. And I’m ok with that.

  63. I used to have a blog for few months and closed it cause couldn’t handle all the sh…I had to read..honestly ;)
    Plan to open a new one but still dont know what to write about and how to approach it.

    • I know that feeling… I wish people’s IP addresses could be ‘rated’ so I could just flat-out block someone who has a “troll” level above 20%. Or something like that.

  64. I seriously love your blog. Everything you have written has served to satisfy my curiosity of what it’s like to date in Japan, date a Japanese guy, and maybe even marry one. I love the research you have done concerning the foreign women and Japanese men. I also love how you don’t generalize. As a fellow blogger, I hope to write an article as a guest post on your blog.

    Peace and Love!
    Gina

    • Hi Gina,

      Thank you so much. That’s a very sweet thing to say! I hope you DO submit a guest post sometime soon :) Let me know if you have any questions about the submission process?
      I’ve been trying to avoid generalization on this blog – I’m glad it comes off that way!

  65. Anonymous // 16 April, 2014 at 12:23 pm //

    I’m so glad you’re going to continue blogging! This is the first time I’ve commented on here but I have been reading your blog for about 4 months now and it’s great. I found this page when i googled long distance relationships once, because my boyfriend and I are going to be long distance in about a month when I graduate from college. Reading your posts about surviving a long distance relationship are really very encouraging.

    Funny thing is that I actually know some people who went to high school with you, although to me you are an internet stranger… It’s a small world!! I go to college in Texas and I once mentioned your blog to some of my good friends, and one said he used to do math homework with you haha. Anyways, keep up the awesome job and I’ll definitely be trying out some of your tips for long distance relationships pretty soon!

    • Hi,

      Wow! Small world :)
      I’m always surprised by how many different people read my blog. I wish you and your boyfriend the best of luck during long distance in college. It’s really rough – but it’s worth it.
      Which friend was it? You don’t have to answer, I was just curious. Thanks!

      • Sorry to take so long to answer – it was Gabrien! Do you remember him? Haha. I actually just graduated college, so my boyfriend and I will be long distance during grad school, but thanks! Best of luck to you with everything as well!

  66. I am happy to hear you have found a way to cope with irrational haters. When I first saw your post on AMWF relationship on HuffPost and saw several comments, I went, Uh, oh, I hope these are not what you are getting on your blog, too. I am so sorry that you have suffered from them. From the posts I have read, you never fail to present a fair and level-headed take. Even when I might disagree with your takes in details, I am always impressed by your maturity in addressing the sensitive topics. As others have said already, always remember that those who find your posts interesting, insightful, and fun far outnumber those who go berserk.
    As for you and a few others who have received incredibly rude comments by others about Asian/Japanese husbands, I find that it tends to fade as time passes. My wife (WF-American) got her share of unsolicited advice against marrying a Japanese man (me) from total strangers (!) before the wedding, and we often received annoying “looks” from others when we went out together. A few years passed since the wedding. A sight of us pushing a stroller at a zoo or playing hide-and-seek with our kids in a park tends to shut up even those who are most prejudiced against AMWF couples. Plus, the couples (of any racial/national combination) who have been together for long, I think, just exude natural confidence in the bond between the two, and give a vibe of calm and mature, even mundane, happiness to those around them. Others, at that point, can’t help but take them for granted.
    Also, let’s not forget the possibility that those people are just jealous and/or having serious relationship issues of their own! Racism/prejudice, after all, tends to be a sign of deep insecurity those who espouse it feel about themselves.

    • Thanks :)

      All things considered, the Huffpost comments weren’t any worse than the normal stuff I get on my blog – the only problem was that it was opening up my blog to the eyes of someone who probably normally wouldn’t find it. Most of my posts relate to living in Japan, working in Japan, or being in an interracial relationship, so I get the feeling that unless someone is specifically looking for that on Google search, they won’t find it.
      I think the emails are the worst. I someone has a hateful and inflammatory title, I of course delete without reading. Twice, people have had the subject line as something like “I’m a big fan of your blog” only to follow in the comments “just kidding, you’re a total b*tch, I hope you get hit by a bus.” It always freaks me out how people can get so passionate about someone else’s opinion.
      Of course, everyone is allowed to disagree. It’s impossible to post ANYTHING on the internet without offending someone. I don’t really mind if people don’t particularly agree with me (and I always find those differences interesting – occasionally comments have been able to open up my mind to a new viewpoint).

      Oh well.
      I’m glad you and your wife haven’t received racial attacks or rude comments in quite a while. I agree- the longer you’ve been together (especially if you are pushing a stroller or with a child), the more people just leave you alone. It’s nice. It’s been months since anyone has commented on my husband and I’s relationship while we’re walking around in Tokyo.

      • Ouch, those mails are even worse than I imagined. I am terribly sorry. I would never understand those responses to the posts that are thought-provoking but hardly sensationalistic. I don’t even want to speculate what goes through their minds when they write up and send these venomous mails. I suggest you do not, either.
        Others tend to indeed leave AMWF couples alone when they are with a child, but there is whole another type of annoyance that they would have then to deal with then, namely, people’s commentaries on the AW biracial kids. A random stranger would look at our baby daughter and said things like: “Biracial babies are so beautiful! (‘Are you saying she is beautiful BECAUSE she has parents with different races, and she would not be beautiful if that weren’t the case?’)”; “Oh, the Asian-White combination is the best, isn’t it? (Is my daughter some sort of a Eugenics project?’)”; (Only after being told by my wife that her father is Asian) “Now that you told me, her eyes look kind of Asian (‘You had no idea a moment ago, and now you suddenly DISCOVER racial phenotype in her? That is weird.’)”. These comments are usually well-intentioned and they appear harmless, so they are very difficult for us to respond even when we feel uncomfortable with them. Well, at least, my wife and I keep learning how to get amusement out of these comments, just like we did with insensitive comments directed at us when we were dating or newly married.

        • Thanks for pointing out that those questions kind of irk you and your wife. I myself am guilty of saying “biracial babies are adorable” – and now I feel pretty bad about saying that.
          Sorry.

          Other than that, I think it’s great you and your wife can find humor in the situation. I’m sure in 10 years when I’m in your shoes, my husband and I will be equally frustrated (and amused) by the questions.

  67. I laughed out loud about how your then boyfriend showed his support on your new blog because it´s exactly what my then boyfriend did too. Funny that I learned to blog exactly at the same time he and I first met online at a social networking site called Friendster. It was late 2008 and I was trying to figure out the ins and outs of blogging, I was blogging at blogspot. My boyfriend would be the first to fan my facebook page, first to like my posts, and he was also my most avid reader. It´s cute to remember. I even created a personal blog which url was a blend of our names. I was a complete newbie so I didn´t even know the proper practice in choosing the url for a blog.

    Fast forward three years later and I left my teaching career to move to Europe (from Asia) and became a full-time blogger. When I was still blogging part-time, I received my first hate comments on my personal style blog. The commenter, he´s a guy, told me to brace my teeth before I ever start posting my photos online. He told me to use the money I spent on travel and on clothes to fix my teeth. When I did blogging full-time, I received my first hate email from a woman who attacked my about page content. My about me page was personal and that´s why it hurt so much to be attacked from that angle. I learned a lot from that, I now avoid sharing too personal things on my professional blogs. What´s even more sad is that my first two haters were my people. They too were Filipinos.

    Then one morning I woke up to see a link that sent some suspicious visitors to my Offbeat Marriage blog from another blog. I went to check that link and it horrified me how the owner of that blog wrote a very thorough blog post attacking the content of my blog. She´s an atheist and she was mad that I shared some marriage tips referencing the Bible. Her entire followers supported her attack and you could see on their comments. I went on to answer their critiques point by point through a blog post.

    I still received more hate comments, and most of them were left on my fashion blog; I was called an idiot, stupid, etc. But the longer you blog, the thicker your skin becomes. I no longer boil in anger like I used to, I learned to just shrug it off. If you really think about it, the good and positive feedback you´d get from your supportive readers far outweigh the haters.
    I really enjoy your blog. The way you write is entertaining and thorough. You also share a lot of first-hand information as well as things for your readers to ponder. Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you so much,

      It’s kind of sweet to hear your boyfriend did the same thing. Support feels good.

      I agree – the longer I’ve blogged, the thicker my skin has gotten. It’s a good feeling. I used to be so worried about what other people felt. Honestly, the last straw was when I accidentally overheard two other kind of friends at my school badmouthing my blog. I was studying in a classroom and they were chatting outside.
      It hurt. The weirdest part was that earlier that week, one of the girls was telling me how much she LOVED my blog and admired me as a writer.
      I guess people can be two-faced? But I’ve met enough wonderful people through my blog that I no longer worry about what other people think. I mean, to be honest, people probably disliked me a bit before I blogged. The only thing that has changed is the exposure.

      I loved that you brought religion into your blog posts. I think you share some great advice :)

      I had a question – how exactly does one become a pro blogger? I tried freelancing (didn’t work) and advertising on Adsense (with 100,000 views a month, only making about $35 a month and the ads look trashy, so I stopped) and Amazon Affiliates (less invasive, about $30 a month). How do you actually make an income blogging?
      I’m still planning on working a regular job – it would just be nice to know whether I would be able to actually make a living/extra cash on the side by blogging.
      Sorry for the unrelated question!

  68. I read this post a little late, hence my late comment, but I feel like I just have to say something. For a while now, I’ve considered you as my hero of sorts. You’ve done so many things and seen so many places, that you inspire me to carry on. Every time I receive an alert from your blog in my inbox, I get so happy that I get to read about you, Ryosuke and Japan, that I smile from ear to ear (I’ve been told its terrifying :) ). I think you’re a fantastic role model, and if my life turns out half as great as yours, I will be a very happy person indeed :)

  69. Anonymous // 14 March, 2014 at 12:11 pm //

    I just want to say I love your blog and it is very informative and it is fun to read.

  70. I LOVE your blog. Please keep writing. I love to hear about all the odd/wonderful things in Japan. One day my husband and I will bring our three awesome Japanese American boys to Okinawa to see where Daddy was born and where O bachan goes every year to visit family.

    • Thank you so much :)
      I’m glad you enjoy reading – and I hope you and your family gets a chance to visit Japan sometime soon! I haven’t made it down to Okinawa yet, but my husband promises me we will go this summer!

  71. I’m glad you decided to keep blogging! I like being able to see what’s going on with you guys – especially since you live so far away now and we can’t hang out. Your writing is really great, don’t let people make you think otherwise!

    On a similar note – I started turning into my “alter ego” (that sounds so weird xp But I don’t know how else to say it) whenever I blog — I don’t get hate mail (actually i get no mail) but it is really helping me get stuff out recently and write about things :) Yay blogging hehe

    • Hahahaha. Thank you :)
      On a side note on alter egos – I was actually at an Anime wig shop yesterday with Ryosuke (another friend was visiting Tokyo and wanted to see “Otaku” stuff – so we took her to a HUGE Anime store). I was browsing wigs trying to pick one out for my alter ego. After our road trip, I decided 100% I needed to make one.
      Now I’m just figuring out names, personalities, and hair styles. But not, this is totally happening. I also really like your idea to “turn into your alter ego” to blog. That seems like it would make it much easier.

      I tried explaining it to Ryosuke and he was just like “ummm, ok? You can buy a wig? Sure?”
      I’M TOTALLY GOING TO DO THIS.

  72. Glad you’re not giving up.

    As a western woman married to a Japanese man myself, I can relate. You don’t need a blog for the kind of hate you can get. Over the course of my relationship, I have found some very jaded reactions to my relationship to my husband.

    When I told this one white guy I was showing around Tokyo as a favor for friend that I found asian men very attractive and had never really been attracted to caucasian men, he responded, “Oh so you like guys with small dicks?”

    To which I responded, “Is that the voice of experience?”

    He blinked in shock for a moment.

    Another time I was on a train and a man from Bahrain came and hit on me. I made sure to mention I was married to see cues of “leave me alone”. He remarked, “You don’t look like the married type.” And then asked if it was to a Japanese man and when I said, “yes,” he laughed and said, “Ah, so you’re lonely right? You need a real man.” And kept trying to get my number.

    And there are more. The most constant remarked I get from caucasians and men from the Middle-East to Africa are always snickers and sneers that I could choose a Japanese man over them. It’s rather obnoxious.

    But we can let it get us down. :)

    • I completely relate. I don’t understand why interracial dating/marriage gives people the impression they’re allowed to say completely offensive and racist things.
      It’s just kind of like… no. Please no. I can’t do this right now. Nope.

      I taught Ryosuke the word “rachet” and we’ve been using that when people ask us awkward questions.
      I guess most of our “couple friends” are all Japanese who don’t speak English – and so far everyone is far too polite to ask things. I guess it’s only a matter of time, though?
      Does your husband ever get crap from other Japanese men/women on you? Or is it really just foreigners?

      • If he has, he’s never told me. But I do know friends in Japanese/ Western relationships who have been treating terribly. Those cases were always the Japanese mother-in-law not responding well to her first born son marrying a foreigner. In one relationship it got so bad, the Japanese son had to stand up to his mother-in^law (very rare) and kick her out of the house. He bought her an apartment to live in. She treated his Caribean wife so poorly that his wife was considering divorce.

        • Ouch. That’s terrifying.
          Every once and a while I complain to Ryosuke that his parents aren’t particularly interested in our relationship (as opposed to my parents who facebook stalk both of us fairly regularly). He just kind of shrugs and says it’s a cultural thing. They love me, they just don’t show it. And Ryosuke said he’s a bit jealous that his dad and mom hug me more than they hug them.

          Then I hear stories (just like your friend’s) where the in-laws are outright rude and racist, and I’m glad with what I’ve got. Those cases are terrifying. I don’t even know how I would respond…
          I remember you saying your husband’s family likes you too, though, right?

          • My husband’s family are wonderful to us. His father is super supportive of our relationship. My father-in-law even came to our wedding in Texas and stayed at my parents house. Though he didn’t speak English, he was enthusiastic about trying things. He’s very open-minded and kind. He loved Texas steak. ;)

            And he read a speech in English (that he had my husband and I translated for him) despite not being able to speak English at all before nearly 80 guests at our Wedding party in rural Texas. When he finished, everyone stood up and gave him a standing ovation. They were so kind to him.

            I was proud of all the folks there.

          • Wow, that sounds wonderful. I’m a little bit jealous :)
            The fact that he read a speech in English is especially touching.

            Ryosuke’s family is absolutely wonderful and supportive – but reserved, so I get a bit lonely sometimes. Oh well.

  73. Grace, you are more courageous than I could ever be. I’ve only posted once on your site before, but I read regularly and all I can say is thank you. You have become one of the most prominent AMWF voices, and it’s unfortunate that it makes you a target for miserable cowards hiding behind their anonymity. I can’t even handle people judging my relationship in real life, so I can’t imagine what it must be like putting yourself out there full blast where the whole world can see. Stay strong girl.

    • Hi Carol,

      Thank you so much for your kind message. Joining the AMWf community has brought endless support. I think it’s very inspiring to hear the stories of other women who are going through the same problems (family, culture, stares from strangers). People will always talk – so I’m glad they’re talking about interracial dating (even though they say negative things). It’s opening a dialogue.

  74. Dear Grace,

    This is my first comment, but I want to let you know that I enjoy and love your blog, I have read all of your posts and I had a wonderful time reading them. :) Thanks for all your effort and for sharing these funny and at the same time educational articles. :)
    I have been to Japan twice, I also experienced weird things, but overall loved that country and my heart is aching for visiting it again.
    I wrote a blog, too, when I was there with scolarship, and I wrote about good things and bad things equally. My style was ironic and I humorous, I thought, but some people I knew from university started a hate-campaign because I dared to write about negative things too (eg. how I was hit by a bicycle because IT was going on the WRONG side) and they forced me to delete that blog… I still feel anxious and upset whenever it comes to my mind… So I can relate to your feelings, and I think you are very strong.

    Congrats on your marriage, I’m very happy for you two, that the long years of this long distance relaitonship are over. :)

    Olivia

    • Oh my gosh. That’s horrible! I can’t believe they made a hate-campaign and even made you delete your blog. That’s just… wrong.
      I’ve heard of similar things from other bloggers (the most “terrifying” case for me was a foreign teacher who did a project about racism in Japan. He made a video on Youtube and even though his school originally supported him, after a lot of negative backlash, they fired him).

      I think it’s pretty incredible you still love and care for Japan, even after that happening. Good for you!
      And thank you for your kind words about my blog! Coming from a fellow blogger, that makes me happy.

  75. Anonymous // 11 March, 2014 at 1:30 am //

    I read your blog every now and then. It just depends on the what the article is about. So far I only left you 2 comments, this is the second. What your husband did was sweet. Appreciated it. Gotta go back to work now. You enjoy life. Don’t stress too much the BS.

  76. i love your blog! you’re so sweet and i really enjoy reading about all the good and bad times you go through_mostly because i wish to live in Japan myself one day. ignore all the haters they suck! :D

  77. Hey :) I absolutely loved this post; it’s the first time I’ve seen the “bad, yet eventually helpful” side of blogging. :p

    I totally agree with the fact that you cannot please everyone all the time! I don’t understand why ppl would wanna send hate mail. If they don’t like your posts, then they shouldn’t read them. ( At least that’s my opinion). If they wish to express their disagreement, why can’t they be constructive about it? I don’t blog. Yet. :) so take this as a “lay woman’s” (go feminists!) point of view.

    Anyway, I love ur blog. You’ve shown me a different side of Japan. Thank you for blogging.

    Btw…. After reading this, I just had to comment even though I’ve always been a passive follower of your blog.

    Best wishes,
    Joanne

    • Hi Joanne,

      Thanks so much for the comments. That’s very sweet and supportive. I’m on the same side with you – if someone disagrees with what I write, that is totally ok. but they should be constructive in their criticism. I really don’t mind constructive criticism and I find it helpful :)

  78. People still care about interracial dating? Jesus, welcome to 2014

  79. Hmmm… is this your way of saying you’re pregnant???

    :D

  80. Awww, if I could write billions of supportive comments to help you forget about the bad ones, I would.
    But then, I would probably fall in the stalker category, which is no good (by the way, oh my God, you had stalkers?! That’s awful…).
    Sometimes I hesitate when I’m writing on my blog because of that… when you write and post on internet, it’s forever there, and anybody can see it… I try not to talk too much about private details, because I have a huge fear of stalkers haha.

    But yeah, please continue to write! You’re so good at it. And I think there’s many people that think that, but they don’t always post comments about it. However, trolls and mean people want attention, so they tell you bad things more easily. That’s what I think!

    Oh and Ryosuke is the cutest for being so supportive!

    • Thank you so much :) That means a lot to me.

      I know what you mean – sometimes I get scared that I’m accidentally going to write something I regret. Every couple months I try to go through my most popular older posts, just to make sure what I wrote still stands. It usually does (but every once and a while I have to change what I wrote).
      I’m also very, VERY careful to NEVER post the names of anyone aside from Ryosuke and I. I also try to leave out details – so that only people who know me (and the person I’m talking about) know who I am talking about.
      It just seems safer that way.

      The stalkers are usually just guys who try to add me on Facebook and send a lot of creepy, pick-up lines. Like because I’m dating a Japanese man (or interested in Japanese culture), I would go for any Asian guy (or any guy interested in Asian culture). It’s… weird? I don’t really have any girl stalkers though, so I’m not sure if that’s a good thing? Hah.

  81. This is the first post I’ve read from you (I’ll be reading more, your life sounds interesting!), but I wanted to say I’m sorry to hear you receive so many nasty emails and comments simply for falling in love with a Japanese man. There’s a lot of angry, bitter men and women out there who can’t stand to see anyone else be happy. The best revenge is living well!

    • Thank you so much. I’m glad you felt, you know, called to comment after just one post. That makes me feel happy.
      And I agree, the best way to “win” is to just be happy, regardless of what anyone else says, thinks, or writes anonymously online :)

  82. Justyna // 8 March, 2014 at 8:20 pm //

    Dear Grace, you are doing amazing job here :) Don’t ever let haters influence you. I love your writing, always enjoy reading. We need you here ;) Im in AMWF relationship myself, also LDR for the time being (just few more months) ;p and reading your blog makes it easier to deal with all the problems conected to this kind of relationship. You speak up what I think so many times. Ignore haters, love is what matters. I also get rude coments or questions in person, even my family is not very supportive (so many nice “normal” white guys, why you had to pick Asian?). Oh well, life is never easy ;p I believe the best things in life require the most effort from us. So keep it up for all the AMWF there, for yourself. :) Never give up
    Ps.I was always a passive guest on your blog, but reading this i had to let you know- we love you, we need you, stay awesome :D

    • Thank you so much for your comment :)
      I was really blown away by the amount of support I got from this post, it really reinforced my decision to stay strong and keep blogging. I’m glad the stuff I write applies to your life (good luck with the rest of your LDR!).
      From here on out, I’m going to try to be more confident in my writing. I have so much I want to share about living, working, and being an AMWF woman in Japan – and I’m glad that I have so many people supporting me.
      Thank you so much!

  83. Grace, you are a woman of my own heart. I read this and you perfectly captured my situation! There is totally an emotional cost…and I should know, b/c not that long ago I posted something up (which admittedly, I probably wrote a little hastily without thinking about how people might perceive it) and now someone is linking to me on Reddit with some headline about how my husband is “forcing me to stay at home”. Honestly when I wrote that post it was sort of based on an inside joke between me and my hubby…but people see what they want to see and so now I’m some American woman being somehow “dominated” by my Chinese husband’s family. Argh!

    • I actually think I know the post you’re talking about. I read that while packing for the move to Japan and I thought it was a nice taste of AMWF life – or even what marriage looks like. Sometimes you do things (like stay inside the house) not necessarily because it’s what you want to do or “should” want to do, but because it’s the right thing to do.
      I really didn’t see anything wrong with it.

      But I remember being surprised by some of the comments who thought your husband was forcing you to stay inside the house – when really, if you looked at it, it was all your decision. And people who don’t know what it is like to live as a white woman in a rural city shouldn’t judge others (based on information they don’t know).
      In any case, you write about AMWF a lot more than I do, so I’m sure you get a lot more “flame” for it than I do…

      But yeah, reddit can be bad. It’s not ALWAYS bad, but it can be… Every once and a while someone will link a post to that and I get scared. Actually, since it relates to this post, the first “death threat” and like REALLY bad hate-mail came from reddit, when I did an article about how to find an apartment in Japan. Since you have to have a Japanese guarantor (places don’t like to rent to foreigners), I wrote about what else to expect while apartment hunting.
      Apparently it came off as racist (I don’t think it’s racist to say “a lot of Japanese landlords don’t want to rent to foreigners” when of the FOUR apartments Ryosuke and I looked at, TWO turned us away at the “open house” because I was foreign. So. Yeah. That happened. I love GOING on reddit, but it’s difficult dealing with the “flame”).

      • Thanks for the reply, Grace! It’s so nice to hear from someone who understands what I was trying to do in that post (which, again, admittedly wasn’t perfect…but is anything when you’re blogging?).

        That really sucks people on reddit gave you death threats and hate mail just because of that post! Crazy! What you were doing is simply educating people on what it’s like hunting for apartments and nothing more. I’ll bet the people who were hating on you might have no clue about what it’s like to live in a foreign country, let alone Japan. Ugh.

        • I can imagine. Every once and a while when I get repeated negative comments on a blog post (usually after about three), I will go through what I wrote and make sure I still agree with it. Sometimes I just have to change a couple paragraphs or sentences so what I was “trying to say” gets across. Blogging is hard. It’s so easy to write – but the quicker you write, the easier it is to “miss” something important that changes the meaning of what you were trying to write, if that makes sense.
          Oh well.

  84. I’m lucky enough I didn’t really have that kind of comments – I read few of them on the forum I used to write. People knew I was dating and later I married an Asian guy and some of the people made some really stupid comments about it. The best way is just to ignore that kind of people.
    And if ‘real white guy’ is like the one writing this b..it, than I’m sorry – no wonder we pick Asians ;) really, how dumb you have to be to say something like this?
    sigh, don’t worry and keep on blogging :) love your posts!

    • I’m glad you don’t have to deal with these comments too often :)
      Really, most of the bad ones in the wake of some sort of publicity (Reddit, Huffington Post, etc) where people who are normally NOT the kind of person who would read an AMWF blog (or blog about living in Japan) read it, get offended, and then post some horribly offensive stuff.
      Oh well.
      At least I’ve figured out how to “block” repeat offenders.

      Keep up the great work and don’t let the haters bring you down!

  85. Sometimes I read your blog and ,even if I am only 17, I see myself, especially when you write about doubts and fears. But the fact that you never gave up, that you are so brave makes me think that I can go on too, thank you Grace, you are an amazing person.

  86. I’m so glad you decided to keep blogging. There’s not a lot of AMWF bloggers out there and my guy and I love reading about you and Ryosuke. There will unfortunately always be racist people out there. But I’m so happy that you’re able to forget their hateful words and continue to do what you love!

    • Thank you so much :) I’m really glad you enjoy reading! And best of luck to you and your guy!

      • Honestly, I just gotten into reading your blog…randomly stumbling onto it after ‘googling’ something. The negative comments, anyone would expect lots of negative comments from anything from people trolling all the time. After passing through the negative comments…when you read how much people enjoy reading what you write, and some can even relate, it just makes it worth it. I mean, I’m sure you have fans and people waiting to read it. Just so you know, you’ve become popular enough that I randomly found you on ‘google’ while searching for something about Japan while watching ‘Criminal Minds.’ I’m Chinese, born and raised in Kansas, and was introduced to anime by my wonderful Uncle and so I’ve been hooked in Japanese culture. I’ve even taken one semester of Elementary Japanese I and considering to take Elementary Japanese II during my fall semester. (Working on Pre-Pharmacy courses and it’s not fun >_<) But yeah, I've decided that at some point I am totally going to visit Japan and I keep thinking, thank you technology because know we can figure stuff out a lot easier in a different language. Well Grace, there will always be haters just like racism, it will never truly disappear, but the real gems are the ones that make you happy and want you to continue writing, idk. :D Good luck to you and Ryosuke, everyone's rooting for you.

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