When you’re a writer, feedback/opinions will somehow find its way to you. You could be entirely off the internet and the grid, and somehow, a little sparrow will chirp in your ear that Toad from Oklahoma thought your writing was complete and utter garbage.
(Nobody loves you, Toad)
Whether you write fanfic, novels, poetry, or that love letter in the margins of your journal, if you put your writing out there in the PUBLIC EYE for actual PEOPLE to ACTUALLY SEE….
They’ll have opinions.
We’re people, a strange breed of creature that likes forming opinions on things. We have entire wars (sorta) dedicated to whether we believe we should put pineapple on pizza. You better believe that, if somebody sees the work you put out there in public, it’s going to get some kind of response.
People don’t like getting graded, but they sure like grading others. And for the longest time, I’ve been haunted by the first time someone ever called my writing “mediocre”.
I was 16.
Bro, I was already struggling from imposter syndrome, I didn’t need this.
Whenever I write something, I still have that asshole’s comment in the back of my mind. No matter how many other people tell me my writing is good, or that they really see potential there, or that my stories changed lives…
As a creator, we tend to obsess over the negatives. We all face imposter syndrome eventually. Countless people might say you’re beautiful, but it only takes one person calling you ugly to believe that you’re ugly forever.
Because we believe all the kindness, it’s just lies. That horrible comment, THAT’S the truth. Because the truth’s supposed to hurt, isn’t it?
We’re humans. We’re artists. We’re fragile souls. We need constructive criticism and gentle encouragement. We don’t need to be told we’re shit. HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people will give you that message all your life, because they’ve been told the same thing, and they’re hurting. So, I’ll give you a tip.
Form a fist, thumb over knuckles. Clench your fingers, watch out not to break your hand.
PUNCH THE AIR AND PRETEND YOU’RE PUNCHING THE HATERS IN THE FACE!
(I don’t recommend actual violence, it never does any good)
And now that you’re through with your rage, I want you do something.
Take in a deep breath.
And promise me something, okay, for your own mental health?
Stop reading the negative comments. You need positive vibes in your life.
Don’t let negativity hurt you.
And, hey, wanna know something? I think that thing you made, the portrait, the sketch, the fanfic, the novel about cats….
I thought it was beautiful, and I support you.