I’m going to write something today that I probably shouldn’t be writing but I’m going to write it anyway. I’m opening this up for discussion and maybe some of you can help me figure this out.
I have an “online hater.”
Is that an actual term or am I making that up? Does anybody know? Well, if it’s not a legitimate term, I’m now coining it. Here’s what it means: An online hater is someone who is the opposite of a fan. Or a friend. Or even some nice-enough acquaintance you just met on Twitter. My online hater is somebody who doesn’t like me because I wrote a book with Michael Jackson as one of the central characters. She thinks it was wrong for me to write it, and that I said bad things about Michael. She told me this in a brief exchange on an Amazon chat board; we actually had a discussion about it when the book first came out. I guess that discussion wasn’t enough for her because then she showed up on my blog, on the book’s Facebook, the Amazon review site, and once when I visited a blog site for a Q & A. She just keeps showing up and trash talking me.
Is it wrong that I’m upset about this?
Because I am. I know I shouldn’t probably admit that. I know you’re supposed to turn the other cheek. I know that words aren’t supposed to hurt you. And yet, I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t hurt. I guess there’s just something in my double-X chromosomes that makes me want to please everybody, and to make sure everyone’s happy. Well, my online hater certainly isn’t happy. And I’m trying to figure out how to deal with this.
I’m not good with criticism, but as I get older, I’m getting better at it. You can tell me you don’t like my writing, you don’t like my stories, you don’t like my hair, or the way I laugh, or that I laugh at the wrong moments, my eyes are too close, I wear funny clothes, or ridiculous looking shoes; you don’t like my politics, or you don’t like me because I’m not political. There are any number of reasons you might find fault with me. I’ve learned to accept the fact that some people just love to criticize, and they’ll do it openly, and often. My emotional skin has thickened (a little) over the years, and I can deal with most (all right, some) disapproval thrown my way. But I draw the line when you attack my honesty. Honesty is the way I try to live my life, and it’s what I bring to my writing.
All + Everything.
To do something well you have to be passionate about what you’re doing, and you have to do it to the max: Body and soul. All + Everything. That’s what I do when I write. I give you my point of view, honestly; and I don’t hold back. And that’s what I did in my book. Michael Jackson was in my life for a brief period of time, and what I wrote about him was from my point of view. Honest, and to the point. I didn’t hold back anything – my observations or my thoughts. I told my story (and the key words here are my story) exactly the way I experienced it.
So for the benefit of my online hater: If you want to find fault with me, for writing about my honest point of view, well, I guess you and I will have to agree to disagree. You’re not going to change my way of thinking, and I know that I certainly won’t change yours. I guess this conversation between the two of us is now over.
It’s time for you to move on.
(How do you handle the haters in your life? The ones that find meaning in attacking, criticizing, and judging who you are and what you do? Do you let them know how you’re feeling and confront them? Or do you just keep quiet and hold it in?)