Shake It Off

Like her or hate her, Taylor Swift has some good advice for writers. Bad review? Flame attack? Shake it off.

(Image: screencap from ITunes video.)

I’ve been lucky so far in putting my creative endeavors out there for public consumption. Readers have been unfailingly generous and overwhelmingly positive. But I know that a one-star Amazon review is inevitable, and I’ve already had a few experiences with flame attacks and cyber-trolling. I’ve watched friends get drawn in, both in my defense and defending their own work. My mantra is and always should be “Shake It Off.”

The temptation to engage is strong, no question. I desperately want to defend my baby (and the brain-babies of others). Don’t these one-star reviewers and trolls get it? Maybe if I explain my brilliance, I’ll change their minds.

Engagement with negativity is always a losing proposition, though. I know this in life. I avoid negativity in other areas of my life, so why should my creative life be any different? I think it’s because writing is so intensely personal and writers get so invested in their work (or maybe that’s just me).

No matter who wins the public battle, the writer always loses. Even if the reviewer or troll eventually slinks away in defeat, the writer’s been dragged down into the mire. More importantly, the writer’s lost precious creative time and energy.

As the song goes, “haters gonna hate.” Let ‘em. By engaging, we validate their negativity. Shake them off. Be positive instead: write something new, and kill a character or two in their honor.

Author: ejfrostuk

Writer of sci-fi, urban fantasy and hard romance.

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