Haters Gon’ Hate (Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate)

December 16, 2014

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points
out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds
could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man
who is actually in the arena.” – Teddy Roosevelt

For a long while I was struggling to rediscover my true writing voice. That is, until I penned a little piece about shoulding on myself. This post was uncensored, a bit messy, from the heart. It was mine and I can actually hear my own voice as I read the words on the screen. People actually read it. It’s how Mallory got her groove back.

And then I got my first negative comment. Ever. And not a civil discourse kind of comment, more like a “This sucked” kind of contribution. (Go ahead, I know you’re dying to check it out.)

I was caught off guard and I honestly thought it was spam. (It wasn’t.) So I did what I do best… and I dwelled.

Who is this person? Why did they feel compelled to leave a comment on a post they didn’t like? Maybe they are right, anyone could have written this. Should I respond? Should I delete it? Maybe I made a huge mistake…

And then I took from the T-Swift Playbook and shook it the eff off. (*dance break*)

“And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off.” – Taylor Swift

No, the post wasn’t rocket science, but it was a piece of me, it was my truth. I created it and I care about it. I stand by it, and so do some of the other people who read it, shared it, and offered up a congregational “AMEN!”

After responding to the not-so-positive comment, I had an epiphany about why I missed blogging so much. I was yearning for the community it builds and the reassurance (and challenge) it can provide. Writers bear their souls when they’re feeling alone in This Thing, only to find that the opposite is true. (Kind of like when I Googled, Did Kevin McCallister from “Home Alone” grow up to be Jigsaw from “Saw?” only to find that someone else had the same whacked idea first.)

But I digress.

When you write about what matters – the stuff YOU want to write, not what’s politically correct or popular – it’s always going to ruffle feathers. We spend way too much time censoring ourselves for the sake of “what other people will think.” The hard truth is that not everyone is going to agree with you or even like you. They probably won’t be quiet about it either. But who the hell cares? If we all agreed we’d be terribly uninteresting, and if you’re always trying to be normal you’ll never know how amazing you can be.

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6 Comments
December 17, 2014 @ 8:48 am

Creating is hard, critiquing is not.
^Good to remember no matter what role we’re playing at the moment.

Glad you’re back, Mal!

Reply
    December 17, 2014 @ 11:28 am

    Thanks, Shannon – it’s good to be back. Always inspired by your consistent ability and talent for creating. <3

    Reply
Tim St. John
December 17, 2014 @ 9:29 am

Word! I struggle with this, but in large part thanks to you and our many conversations, I am becoming more confident and comfortable in putting my often unpopular opinions out there. Also, often, that one comment is matched by several positive ones. It actually says more about the commenter than it does about you. Also – when is your “Shake it Off” spin off music video dropping? Kudos, friend!

Reply
    December 17, 2014 @ 11:30 am

    Thanks, Tim. I’m going to leave the singing for the pros. But I’m thankful for friends like you who act as my baseline. I can always count on you to tell me if a piece authentic and thought provoking or if it’s seriously crossing the line. Appreciate you! (And you should go write something!)

    Reply
December 18, 2014 @ 9:32 am

Doh – I totally remember my first negative comment. Almost all of the negative comments I’ve gotten seem to be because people just don’t read the post that thoroughly – why do people feel the need to leave a comment if they can’t even take the time to read the post? Like you, I tend to respond calmly and rationally (after first writing at least 4 or 5 totally non-calm responses with many cuss words), and then console myself with the fact that obviously that is not my target audience and a glass or two of wine.
Growing a thick skin can be difficult, but I think you’re definitely on the write path (see what I did there?) with your blogging – it’s obviously resonating with many people, and more importantly, you don’t feel trapped in the box anymore. It’s more genuinely you – and there ain’t nothing wrong with that. Write on, my friend.

Reply
    December 18, 2014 @ 9:41 am

    Thanks, Kristen. I definitely feel like my writing is more… “me.” You’ve been a tremendous inspiration in trying to claw back to my roots – and it’s nice to hear that I’m not the only one who dwells over the occasional troll. Write on!

    Reply

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