Haters gonna hate

I have noticed this a lot – some book, some article, some TV programme, often by virtue of being either wildly successful or just not what the reader/watches likes produces a storm of vitriol. Not well thought out vitriol, just a lot of ‘I hate so and so and so, and if you disagree with me you are [insert depressingly bigoted insult]

This isn’t a new phenomenon. Read book/movie/music reviews of the last couple centuries and the letters pages and the hateful language, the storm of condemnation, the scornful dismissals are all there. They are just easier to read and post these days. (Have you ever tried to write an angry letter with a quill pen? Ink everywhere…)

It happened to Charlotte Bronte. It happened to Charles Dickens. It happened to Maria Callas.

But look what happened – Bronte and Dickens and Callas have lasted. Not only lasted, but are revered.

I’m not saying you should never express your dislike of something. I have, plenty of times. If you genuinely do hate a book, say so – but say why, and what led to this and prove you’ve actually read the book and what you would change and avoid personal attacks on the author.

As a writer, I would say – take the criticism with a pinch of salt. Don’t let it annoy you. If they have something genuine to say, listen to it – but if it’s just an outpouring of hate, ignore it.

But I would also say, if as a writer you hate someone else’s work – do it better. Write it better. Sit there and say ‘if I was doing this, I would do this and that differently’ – and then do it.

Disliking something intensely should be just as much of an inspiration to write as liking something is.

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One response to “Haters gonna hate

  1. brickwallviews

    True story.

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