By: Sarah West
I am in a lot of writer groups and two common questions I see posted are, How do I deal with rejection and how do I respond to disagreements over a post?
In fact, I have read some pretty vile comments posted on blogger sites. You need a thick skin to survive in this game. If you have any followers at all, you will learn that folks don’t always agree with you and social media has made a lot of people brave. They would never say some of the rude comments to your face but they will under the shield and protection of social media.
Here are a few pointers to bloggers out there dealing with rude comments and rejections:
- Not all comments are created equally. There are trolls out there and their only job is to make you miserable. The first time I heard this term, I scratched my head. I had no idea there were people out there that intentionally tried to stir up grief. For a second, I wondered if I was back in high school!
As in life, you as a blogger have the choice of taking the high road or the low road. The troll wants a fight. He or she wants you to get angry and respond unprofessionally. And maybe, just maybe, it is justified in your mind. Before you respond to rude comments, think about the bigger picture.
Are you really going to use your creative energy to argue with someone who could truly care less about your blog?
Plan of action: Set your blog settings to where all comments must be approved before appearing. You save yourself the heart failure of going to your blog unprepared and reading nasty comments. You also save your genuine supportive readers the disservice of reading such crap.
If you are dealing with family or friends that seem to always have an opinion of what you need to do or how you need to feel, then consider distancing yourself from them. You can love people and not be around them. If you feel that you can sit down and have a heart to heart with them about the issues at hand, then do it! Don’t allow an issue that has never been put on the table be the deciding factor of your relationship.
2. Not all opinions are the same. If we are all honest, when we write something, we think it is the best thing since sliced bread! We put our heart and soul into our words. Why would anyone disagree with you? Don’t all parents breast feed? Don’t all ladies feel the need to be married and have a minivan full of children?You get my point.
Your opinion is not the only opinion out there so expect disagreements. As long as they are not rude or disrespectful, see it as what the comment is- an opinion. You don’t have to change your view on what you believe but let’s all understand that we can respectfully disagree.
Plan of action: Try not to get offended. I know it can be hard but do your best to see where the reader is coming. You might not agree with the comments and opinions about your post, but choose to respond respectfully. A rebuttal is not necessarily bad. It is the manner in how you respond. Respond in kindness.
And because we don’t like different opinions, we tend to surround ourselves with people that think exactly like us. People that have other thoughts and views make us nervous so we have a desire to close ourselves off. It is not healthy because a world where everyone is the same is not a reality.
3. Rejection gives you time to practice. Though I am no big shot by any means, I have learned a few things in the world of writing over the last few years.
Rejection is inevitable. Rejection is also needed.
[You can read my article on Failure here]
Look at the writing process like a child. If we raise a child and we, as the parents, never tell that child no, we never give them a charge and we never show them how to do things on their own, we would not be such awesome parents. Would you agree?
We need people to tell us, as writers, to go back to the drawing board and try again. We need editors saying, “This is good, but it could be better.” Sometimes, we need to be reminded we are not the only creative minds out there in the universe. Others have experiences that are invaluable to us. I don’t believe isolation is a good thing. You don’t have to be a one-man-show.
We are now in an electronic era that everything is at our fingertips. We can literally be anything we decide to be. There is an app for whatever we want to create and the title of author, editor, designer or creative genius holds little weight because we live in a paint-by-numbers world.
You don’t need to be a creative person. You just need a computer and a basic understanding of it. It has isolated a lot of creative people into thinking they don’t need anyone to help them. So when they do receive rejection, they simply cannot handle it. They crumble, never able to see the other side of the equation.
Plan of action: Find a community. We are better in numbers. You learn and grow when you are around people who will challenge you. Don’t be prideful and think there is nothing else to learn. There is always something the world and its creatives can teach. Embrace the chance that rejection gives you to practice your craft.
The same goes with your personal relationships. We all need community of truth speakers.
What would you add to the conversation? Share with us!