We’ve talked on here before about Challenging the Naysayers and how Some People Are Not Going To Like What You Create. Today I wanted to talk about another aspect of people who are critical of your work and that is completely ignoring them and how to ignore them. There’s a simple way to do that. Create more.
If you have enough time to be worrying over what people are saying about your art, you have too much free time. You should be creating, not worrying about what other people thing.
Many years ago, another comedy musician wrote a long diatribe about me and my comedy music on a closed mailing list that I was not a part of. I was not supposed to see it, but it made its way to me and I was generally shocked to see such vitriol pointed at me. It berated my talent (or lack thereof), my motives for even creating comedy music and putting out CDs and it was just generally mean. For weeks, I obsessed over it. I obsessed over it and plotted my revenge. At one point I even considered reprinting it, without the name at the bottom as the liner notes in the CD I was working on. Or, tongue in cheek, using select quotes in promo for the new CD.
One day, I had been going on and on about how mad I was about this letter and a friend told me I had to stop. He told me to think of actor Tom Hanks. He said there are people out there who, for whatever reason, hate Tom Hanks. They don’t like him and they say mean things about him. He then asked me if I thought Tom Hanks spent one moment thinking about those people and plotting ways to get them back or if Tom Hanks just went on with his life, acting and creating?
When put into that perspective it really made things clear. I was spending way too much time thinking about this person and what he had said. I needed to let it go and just get back to creating and that is what I did. I never even confronted this person about the things he said, I just went on creating my songs.
I will say, that I bet, occasionally, Tom Hanks probably reads a negative thing about himself and DOES feel bad about it. How can we not feel bad when someone says something negative about us? The key is to feel bad for a moment and then keep on doing what we are doing. We can’t let it drag us down where it feeds the negative brain or we spend all our time plotting the perfect revenge. That is all just time wasted from creating our art.
So, if you have enough time to worry about what the critics are saying, you have too much free time.
Do you dwell on what critics or naysayers say? How do you deal with it? Let us know in the comments below. Have a great week!
I have something to tell you and I’m not sure how you are going to take it. You may want to sit down. No, forget that, you don’t have to sit down. Why? Because it is an ugly truth that just about everybody on the planet knows. It is simply:
People are going to not like what you create.
Now, of course, I’m not talking about everyone on the planet. I’m talking about some people. Some people are going to see what you create and just simply, not like it. And, that’s okay.
You know this, but I think it is good to remind yourself about it now and again so that it stays clear in your head.
Some people are not going to like what you create and that is okay. Some of those people are going to be vocal about not liking what you create (in reviews online, in second hand word of mouth, to your face). And that’s okay, you know, as long as they are polite about it.
I worked on the Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd for years. When that show ended and I went on to another project, Did This Happen?, I thought for sure the audience from Dr. Floyd would follow me to that project. A few did but the majority did not.
The, in 2013, when I debuted The Adventures of The Thunder Crester, I thought for sure that that would recapture the Dr. Floyd audience. It did not and, in fact, one longtime Dr. Floyd fan sent me an email telling me that not only did he not thing Thunder Crester was funny, he did not like it at all.
I will tell you right now, that email crushed me, as it would anybody. It sucks bad when people don’t like the things you create, but when have to remember when you put your art out there…some people aren’t going to like your stuff…and that’s okay.
After reading this email trashing Thunder Crester I had to remind myself…I like Thunder Crester. I think it’s really funny. I think the cast is amazing and they work together so perfectly. I also had to remind myself…everyone is entitled to their opinion and just because they don’t like something you created that doesn’t make them wrong or a bad person.
I also put it in perspective, just because someone doesn’t like something and is vocal about it doesn’t mean that what you have created isn’t going to be successful. I haven’t watched a single episode of Seinfeld or Friends. They just weren’t my cup of tea. I don’t think Jerry or Jennifer are losing any sleep over the fact that I don’t like their shows.
Cripes, look at the vitriol that came out against the Twilight books. Did that stop the author? Not at all, she loved it all the way to the bank.
So, from time to time, remind yourself, some people are not going to like the things you create. And that’s okay. You just keep on creating it because at the end of the day if you like it, that is all that matters.
What are some of the techniques you use to deal with folks who don’t like your stuff? Let me know in the comments below.