I’d Rather Feed the Trolls

Do it.

I’ve been on the Ye Olde Internet for going on ten years now.  While that’s not as long as a lot of “veterans” I know, I have been online since about fourteen or so, which is quite a formidable amount of my life. (Almost one half by this point, and certainly a majority of my self-conscious life.) In all that time I have seen a lot of trolls. And like any other young teen on the Net, I’ve been hurt by a lot of trolls. (Never forget the day somebody said my website sucked! Forever in my fiery heart, SailorCurious!) The thing is, for the most part, unless they’re saying something super triggery and just generally heinous a la SVU, trolls are pretty easy to ignore the more you hang out on the internet.

As writers, we get trolled a lot. One day we’re just beep-boopin along, and then suddenly somebody comments on a piece of flash fiction or a novel excerpt and lets us know just ~what they think~ in a nice array of SUPER flattering text.

Example: “omg you call this fiction?!!?! more like dumpster trash lololol

okay, so that’s a crappy example. Forgive me, been a long work day and I should go crash soon. Anyway, at first you think “Wow, that sucks. Thanks for ruining my day, bro,” but then you think “bwahahaha they probably didn’t even read it.”

It’s kind of the same with some bad reviews, especially from random strangers. Of course, genuine “bad reviews” are not fun at all, but many see them as learning experiences if it’s applicable. It never feels good to have something you worked so hard and long at be treated like crap, but it’s usually easier when it comes from a stranger, or a troll.

Then there’s the bad reviews from your fellow writers. I don’t know about you, but those are the ones that strike through me the hardest.

We writers are critical. We’re hard on ourselves (or at least should be) and tend to be hard on other writers. It’s why the beta process can be so important. We need our fellow writers to be critical, both in terms of what works and what doesn’t.

Thus, it hurts doubly when they hate something we’ve done than when Joe Schmoe goes on a tangent.

Let’s face it, y’all writers, deep down we all compete with each other. Perhaps not always monetarily and with sales, but at least mentally – we will always compare ourselves to every writer we come across. We’ll bite our lips when somebody does something we’ve always wanted to be able to do so well, and we’ll smugly think “haha I would never do that at least!” we see something we don’t like at all. And of course, there’s that pang of jealousy whenever somebody lands a book deal when we’re still struggling. But of course we’ll happily congratulate them and share in their excitement. Most of the time.

These aren’t bad things. They’re human nature. (Well, you could argue that it could be bad because it IS human nature..) But they’re real. And it affects the way we interact with each other. It’s easy to disregard somebody’s writing as trash on days we’re particularly down on ourselves and looking for validation. But I digress.

I apparently need to close up this blog entry now because I am making less and less sense (or just getting more and more tired) as time goes on: but basically, “trolls” are easy to write off (haha get it!!!) because ~what do they know~? But writers man, writers hatin’ on your stuff is like a punch to the back of the head. Because what if they’re right? and oh no we might have to make serious changes omg!!

This post is brought to you by a good idea I had that’s been tainted by a 12 hour work day and even less sleep to back it up. I’m off to rectify that last point right now. Goodnight~  I am so happy I didn’t attempt the queer characters post tonight oh man i am dyin’.

Is there any one kind of review you just can’t deal with even on a good day?