Hi! It’s IWSG day. The day each month where I air my writerly insecurities, along with a few hundred other writer-bloggers. Check the main page here and visit some other blogs, it’s a nice community!
I finally “get” those memes. You know:
Not that I have actual “haters” (I’m not popular enough) but I do have people who don’t like me. I guess we all do. Specifically, though, I’m talking about writing haters, as this is IWSG day.
I read a blog post a few days ago and it all finally clicked for me. Here’s an excerpt, but I suggest clicking the link and reading the whole post:
You don’t have to be perfect to do things that matter. If only perfect people could do things, nothing would ever get done. Everyone who has ever done anything has also been flawed in a serious way. Because that’s how people are.
It’s also important to remember that you don’t owe the world a heckler’s veto. There will always be people who don’t like you or your work. That doesn’t mean you have to stop. It doesn’t mean you have to engage with them. It just means that you’re being noticed, and that some people don’t like what they’re seeing. source
That might all seem obvious and simple, and maybe it was just the time or my mood or whatever, but it was a pretty huge revelation for me, reading that. Like a weight off my shoulders.
Because while I can easily go about my day knowing some people don’t like me personally (I have years of practice at that!) it was harder for me to continue writing after being told my writing wasn’t good, my stories aren’t interesting, and my work is worthless. I’ve been doing it, but it has been hard.
At first it wasn’t so bad, but as months and years went on, I found it more and more difficult to keep going. All those negative things that I could easily ignore individually kind of built up, until I started to wonder if maybe I should just quit. Then I’d get a nice e-mail from a reader, or a comment from someone who likes my work, and I’d feel better for a while. Until the next round of negative reactions and then I’d feel bad again.
I’ve been going around in these circles since I started publishing three years ago, and I guess I finally realized, thanks to that blog post, that those kinds of feelings aren’t ever going to go away.
That is one of my favorite quotes. It usually makes me feel better. But it also makes me think: what about the people who usually LOVE peaches, but still hate me? I mean, it’s easy to say “oh, you just don’t like my style, nothing I do would please you. You peach hater!” and often that is true. But what if it’s someone saying: “I love peaches! But not yours. Your peaches suck.” What do I do then?
I guess what that blog made me realize is I should keep going. Block out the “haters” and focus on the people who like my work. (I think there are a handful of those people…somewhere.) I don’t have to make everyone happy. I don’t owe anyone anything. I do feel bad for the people I’ve disappointed, but I don’t need to change for them.