Image by Zach Klein
Today, Maki launched the new design of Dosh Dosh through a detailed announcement post. However something which he didn’t quite expect was negative feedback. Although he did get tons of appreciation but criticism poured in too. Since I follow him on twitter, I was keeping a track of that conversation. He was upset and frustrated and also mentioned: ” Criticism is frustrating, even if its constructive. I need to tune out some of the negativity I’ve gotten. ”
As a blogger, criticism could well become the part and parcel of life, considering the kind of blog you write. If you love controversies and blog about it then chances are that you face criticisms daily and also get accustomed to it.
However for a blogger like Maki, who is a well known and well respected blogger in his niche, this sudden criticism on his new blog design was unexpected and hence not easy to handle. I have had my share of a similar situation before but it was offline and not public as in this case.
Since this incident prompted this post, I decided to give a thought over what could a blogger do if he faces sudden criticism and it becomes really frustrating for him.
Be prepared for the unexpected
Yes, this is probably the first mental step. Whenever you start something new and you are upbeat about it, obviously you think for the best and think that everyone will like what you have accomplished. However as the saying goes, prepare for the worst. It doesn’t mean that you should be pessimistic, but you should have a frame of mind where you are ready to face all kinds of feedback.
Reduce the passion
In the first point I mentioned about being prepared for the negativity. Now, I know this is easier said than done because when we are in a positive frame of mind and cheerful about something new, we don’t usually want to think about the negative aspects. Hence the way to get in that frame of mind is to reduce the passion and be calm before you announce something new. Thats when if negative feedback pours in, although you will get upset, but you will handle it in a better manner without getting frustrated.
” The less passion there is, the better we work. The calmer we are the better for us and the more the amount of work we can do. When we let loose our feelings, we waste so much energy, shatter our nerves, disturb our minds, and accomplish very little work. ” – Swami Vivekananda
Face it as it comes and then analyze it
Now when negative feedback and criticism does start pouring in, there is nothing much you can do. Well, yes, you can always stop the comments, sign out of your IMs, mails, twitter, log out of your computer and then lock yourself in the room. But does that solve the purpose? In fact if you do this, the next day you will face double the criticism and you may be titled as a coward who knows how to tickle the dragon but can’t face the fire.
So here the important thing is to face it as it comes and then analyze it. Check why you are getting negative feedback and what exactly people are disliking. You could also participate in the discussion and be candid and answer the questions. Thats what Maki did. Instead of just getting upset and getting off his computer, he participated in the discussion by answering to comments and talking on twitter and this is what every blogger should attempt to do in such a situation. This can help you in 2 ways:
1: You get a lot of constructive feedback and a lot of support from your followers.
2: Those who criticized you bluntly may change their mind after participating in the discussion and may accept that they were actually wrong.
Hence instead of running away, you should face it in a brave manner.
Believe in yourself
Last but not the least, no matter what happens, its important to believe in yourself and in your work.
Again quoting Swami Vivekananda- ” Each work has to pass through these stages—ridicule, opposition, and then acceptance. Those who think ahead of their time are sure to be misunderstood. ”
Hence just believe in yourself and stay motivated because your endeavor will bear fruits, if not today… then tomorrow.