One of my great joys in life is collaborating with other creative minds. Not so amazing, on the other hand, is facing the terrible internet trolls of the world. Bloggers and writers of all sorts can face criticism from readers. I think that’s a good thing! But when unhinged commenters force their crazy on you, even the most passionate and confident person can be crippled by anxiety and self doubt. I explore this topic with my friend (and “KP’s Rome” collaborator) Kat Tan Conte on her new YouTube series over at her blog Zero the One. And here are my three easy steps to dealing with criticism:
Don’t feed the trolls. Those crazy off-topic comments written by anonymous internet weirdos are an inevitable byproduct of blogging. Delete comments written by trolls. Never ever engage, as responding to an over the top whacko will only draw you into their cyclone of doom.
Know when to close comments. As bloggers, of course we want to be alerted when an interested reader leaves a comment. But it can ruin our whole day when we receive an email notification containing a troll’s comments. Stay on top of other reader feedback while tuning out the trolls by closing comments on the controversial post in question.
Channel and transform the negativity. Sometimes criticism is warranted. In fact, we cannot grow as writers if everyone lavishes praise upon us. But if the criticism cross the line, use it to your benefit and take it as inspiration to create content that is beyond reproach.