Writers and bloggers need to have thick skins—because criticism of the non-constructive variety, no or few likes, and limited followers can prove discouraging. And being discouraged may prompt us to stop writing and posting. How would we ever grow/develop if we let negativity [or something we deem negative] “influence” us? How would we realize our dreams if we let someone or something affect our progress?
Taking criticism personally, on any level, in any profession, is of no-value add. Sure, it hurts. In fact, it bleeping stings [I’m still applying hydrocortisone cream in an effort to quell the prickling]. And maybe we even get pissed off (a great phrasal verb that says it all).
Emotions have their place, but not when they affect our professionalism or conduct. We should never respond similarly if we’ve been criticized or drag ourselves about the place with our tails between our legs because we didn’t receive the response(s) we’d wanted / hoped for. So what if someone didn’t like a story or post? So what if no one read said story or post? But, alas, we do. I do (this I readily confess as I rub on that hydrocortisone cream because that damn stinging won’t cease).
A fundamental fact: we can’t please everyone. And we shouldn’t try to. Maybe, just maybe, something we’ve written simply didn’t gel with anyone. It happens. That’s okay. Use it as a learning experience. Why might no one have responded or liked a particular post or work? The tone? Topic? Shoddy writing? Amateurish approach? Or did it simply plop into someone’s inbox . . . among the many. We can’t always read them all.
If you’re really bummed out about it, give it some thought—and try a different approach next time. And if there’s truly nothing wrong with that piece you’ve so diligently crafted—at least, that you can determine—move on.
Was the criticism unjust, angry, ugly? Understand that the criticizer is like the rest of us—far from perfect. Maybe he/she was having a bad day. Or took umbrage at something you stated, or umbrage at something totally unrelated and vented—at you.
No followers or likes? You want them? (I do!) It saddens you that you don’t have any or many? (Saddens me . . . a lot.) Some folks seem to receive a gazillion likes, while some of us seem to get very few, if any. So, what are we going to do? We’re not going to let it get us down. Sure, we can make it a full-fledged quest to acquire those likes, but it’s always possible that no matter what we attempt, they don’t/won’t come our way. Know this: it may not be our fault. There are many reasons why those likes and/or followers may not be possible (and some have to do with hashtag performance, posting times, and content shared, but that’s another post), but one of the many ones? Many people tend to read and like posts of—or follow—people that are already pretty popular. Simple fact.
Whatever the case, don’t brood. Moping has no merit. Why waste the day with a heavy heart? Recognize that events—or non-events—happen for a reason and, generally (hopefully), make us stronger, better . . . and help us develop that thick skin.
What’s important [and necessary] is that we realize responses [or lack of] are not a reflection of who we are or what we necessarily write/post. Never allow lack of likes, or non-constructive criticism, crush your self-esteem.
Give yourself a pep talk and a much deserved pat on the back—you’ve come far and you’ve got a distance to go. Journey [move forward] with pride . . . and don’t take it personally.
4 thoughts on “Don’t Take it Personally”
Hi. Do you get as much satisfaction from writing for your blog as you always have? It wavers with me, but I suppose that’s to be expected.
Not always – sometimes I wish I’d never committed to the two weekly posts. Some posts come easily, some are a major struggle (and I’m sure those show). I think, also, I’ve reached that point where I want to (need to) create a new/fresh website and start being the editor I want to be. The timing, however, is not quite right . . . yet. Take care, my friend. And do keep blogging; you’re posts are so enjoyable to read and your pics are always lovely.
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Oh yeah, it’s important that we learn to focus on getting pleasure from the act of writing itself, rather than from external situations that we have zero control over. But I think someone who writes as much as you already do see things from that perspective. Thanks for this post!
You’re so spot on about having zero control, and that’s something we need to always remember. Thanks very much, Stuart. Stay well and happy, and always keep writing.