I never really knew what everyone was talking about when they’d mention all the haters online, but unfortunately I now understand. I just got my first hater (well the first who as vocalised it to me that is). And wow, does it hurt.
It REALLY hurts.
You know that slightly sick nagging feeling that you get in the bottom of your stomach when something bad happens, that you just can’t shake. Well that’s where I am right now.
Here’s what happened.
I wrote an article about surfing that I submitted to a website for publication late on Friday. The last time I submitted an article I heard back that it had been accepted within minutes however this time I heard nothing.
I spend a lot of time on my writing. Whether it’s an article or a blog post it can take me hours if not days to finish just one piece. I put a lot of time and effort into my writing because it matters to me. And so does how it’s received. So the silence, after hours of work on an article, when I really should have been doing other things, upset me.
I felt deflated. I’d been all excited about what I’d written and that maybe the website I wanted to get it onto would like it and then nothing.
I tried to push it from my mind and luckily had a really busy day yesterday so didn’t have much time to think about my assumed rejection.
But then, when I woke up this morning, I was elated to find that actually my article had been accepted and published.
I hurriedly clicked on the link to the article, excited to see it up there and find out if it had received a lot of comments or shares.
Unfortunately though this is when I encountered my hater. It was the first comment and it said:
“Wow. You’re a really shitty writer. I don’t say this to make you feel bad. I say it because there are thousands of real journalists out there who deserve the readers parked on this page and countless others like it. Here’s to you, real writers everywhere! I feel your pain.”
Whomp talk about a sucker punch to the stomach. It actually hurts all over again just re-reading it to post on here.
I’d been so happy and excited 5 minutes before I saw that comment and then all that and more was destroyed instantly. All from just one thing one person said. I’d been excited about sharing the article with my friends, family and followers, but how could I do that now? They’d all see that comment as the bottom of the article saying how dreadful my writing is. And worse than the embarrassment of them seeing that comment, what if they agree with it too? What if the charming stranger who wrote that comment is right and my writing sucks? Maybe I should never even have submitted the article in the first place. Yeah the website I wanted to had published it but with such a negative first comment maybe I’d been wrong to ever think it was worthy of publication or being put out into the world.
But then I looked at where the website had posted the article on Facebook and there had been loads of positive comments, people sharing the article and over 200 likes.
Plus I know, somewhere in the back of my mind, that my writing has been well received in the past. Some of the comments I’ve had in response to this blog, for example about how it has helped people, have actually brought me to tears at times they have been so kind and positive.
Yet I still can’t shake that one negative comment. It’s still making me think I shouldn’t share the article like I normally would, I should just hide it and pretend it didn’t happen so everyone else doesn’t see my hater too and I don’t have to find out if they agree with him.
That’s why I’m writing this post. To stop me doing the above. Usually I write posts with the explicit intention of imparting advise that will hopefully help all of you reading this. But I’m in need of a little help myself right now too. I needed to write this to work out how to stop letting the one hater control how I feel and my actions as much as I hope it can help inspire you to overcome your haters to.
And I am also very aware that I started this blog with a post called 3 Steps to Stop the Downward Spiral of Negativity so it would be very hypocritical of me to do nothing about this.
This isn’t exactly a downward spiral of negativity so I can’t follow the precise 3 steps I talked about before but it is similar.
Here’s how I’m going to deal with the haters
- Focus on the fact that my article was accepted by the website and published so clearly they saw some worth in it.
- Remember all the other positive responses I’ve had, in relation to this article but also that I’ve had to my writing in general.
- Recognise that I don’t know the motivation for the negative comment. It provides no constructive criticism, which if it did that would be cool as then I could learn from it, but it doesn’t. It is just negative and I have no way to tell what motivated it, whether my writing is really that bad or if the criticism, as it so frequently does, says more about the the person writing it than it does about me. For all I know the person could have posted it because they’re jealous and have had articles rejected by the publication before. I just can’t know so until someone gives me some constructive criticism I’m going to remind myself to take this one with a pinch of salt.
- I fully believe what I said at the end of my first post on this blog, that:
“It is usually when we’re pushing ourselves to do great things that we experience the most criticism.”
And I’m pushing myself at the moment. Any time I post or publish something I feel like I’m bearing a bit of my soul, laying myself naked and exposed to criticism. But hopefully in doing that it may lead to something great, whether that be by helping someone or causing them to think about things a different way. And as long as what I’m doing has a positive impact on one person’s life I’ll take that as having done something great, so I guess if I fail a little along the way too, that’s ok.
So all I have to say is this:
Screw the haters.
I am going to stand proud and believe in myself.
This is the article that sparked all of this Stop the Surf Rage (Now)
Instead I’m going to focus on all the overwhelmingly positive feedback I’ve had to my writing in the past and hope that some of you find this most recent article useful or interesting too.
And if you don’t, that’s ok too. But just tell me why. Give me something I can learn from.
Lots of love, from a slightly fragile me xxx (I will be back to usual posting where I focus on providing tools and information that can help you next week, I promise)