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The Inevitability of Negativity

Once you reach a certain level of prominence, expect detractors. But don't let that stop you.
Jul | 10 | 2012

Jul | 10 | 2012


Creative types put themselves out there. We sit down with a blank screen and canvas and try to do our best work. Are we successful? It depends on whom you ask. With the release of a new album or movie or piece of art, one of four things is certain to happen:

  • No one notices the work (typical, especially for people just starting out)
  • Everybody hates the work (unlikely)
  • Everybody loves the work (suspect)
  • Opinions vary (typical, once the work or the creator reaches a certain level of prominence)

For just about every one of my favorite albums, movies, books, etc., there are those in the opposing camp. That’s always been the case. Of course, it wasn’t always so easy to find like-minded folks. Do you hate John Grisham’s new book? Click on the one-star Amazon reviews. Think that Van Halen sucks? Join the Facebook group devoted to that very, er, cause. Didn’t care for the latest Spiderman flick? Tweet about it. You’re not alone. Despise Breaking Bad? Not so remarkably, there’s a website just for you.

Simon Says

Negativity is inevitable unless you choose to remain anonymous. For those committed to doing great work, anonymity is not an option. Pay the trolls no heed.


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  1. Nikos

    Interesting post! It’s really all about carving out a niche with content that resonates with people. Anyone with the expectation that they can create something that absolutely everyone will love is disillusioned.

  2. Daniel Dennis

    Where do you draw the line for listening to legitimate negative feedback and ignoring the trolls? How does an amateur spot useful trends in the feedback?

    • Phil Simon

      Thanks for the comment, Daniel. I’ll be the first to admit that this is more art than science. I like to use book reviews as an example. If someone doesn’t like a book, then provide an example of a “better” one.


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