Dealing with criticism is something we're all faced with when we put ourselves and our work out there online. We can never control how others behave, but what I think is super important is not letting the criticism of others (when it's not constructive) to stop us from doing the work we want to do. Bethany wrote an awesome piece on the topic here, and I wanted to share some thoughts and advice today for any fellow bloggers for when they're faced with criticism and negativity online.
When do we create for our critics? We create for our critics when we change what we're doing because of something negative someone else has said. I've done this in the past, and afterwards I've kicked myself for allowing the negativity of others hold me back from doing the work I wanted to do, and since then I've moved forward, grown a thicker skin, and believed in my work every step of the way. It's when we apologise for our ideas and our opinions, or when we get a not so nice comment, and allow that negativity to eat away at us and guide us when it comes to how we create content moving forward. Be comfortable with criticism - decipher what opinions matter to you and what don’t. Try and find something useful when constructive criticism is sent your way, but find the humour to laugh it off when it’s nothing but negativity and spitefulness.
How do we create for our readers and friends? We do this by doing the work we're crazy passionate about, by creating and sharing content that is utilising our voice, our opinions, and the awesome way we see the world. We stay positive and passionate and ignore any unnecessary negativity, as we know it says way more about the person criticising than it does us, yet we remain open along the way to any constructive ideas for improvement shared with us. We keep doing our thing, and we listen to those readers who are as excited about what we're sharing as we are.
You don’t want everyone to like you You really don't. You have opinions, and experiences, and knowledge to share, and it will connect with some people and polarise others. Learning to be okay with this is so important when it comes to finding your audience and readership - you want to connect with the people who get you, who are open to the awesome way you see the world, and who relate to your content because it's aimed and created for people just like them. Be okay with some people not quite getting you, as that doesn't mean you're not awesome, and keep doing your thing even if it feels like it's not everyone's cup of tea.
I read a post a few months back that said that there was too much blogging advice in the online community these days, and that it was becoming a cheap way to gain hits and Bloglovin likes. At first I felt super upset that one of the things I love writing about was becoming something people perhaps didn't want to read, and feared that maybe I was boring people with content that I personally was super excited about sharing. But then I realised - this space exists for people who are as passionate about blogging as I am; for fellow creatives and awesome people who want to share who they are, and their work, and their words, and connect with people along the way. So I've just carried on creating the content I want to create, and made peace with the fact that it isn't going to be for everyone. I create for you guys, and for me, and whenever any negativity comes my way I just remember that it really is okay to not be liked by everyone.
So create for your friends, not your critics, and keep doing your thing even when it feels like it's going against the grain. I promise you, there's an awesome audience out there hoping to find someone just like you.
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