Don’t Listen to Their Hate
Okay, the idea for this article came out of a kickstarter I recently saw for a climbing movie called “Lady Stoke: A Rockumentary.” Actually, it came from the comments on mountainproject about that kickstarter. Someone had posted a link to the project, saying basically “hey, this is cool, check it out.” Then, for no apparently good reason, people were tearing their idea to shreds. Sadly, this is typical behavior for the mountainproject community.
I’ve been there before – where these girls are now. You put an idea out there, maybe it’s not fully formulated, but it’s cool and exciting to you. And then you share it on the internet because, well, because why not? Because you are a creative person, because you like to get feedback, to engage in discussion, because you like to share ideas you have, and god knows there’s nothing wrong with that. But, then, you find yourself recoiling in horror as the hate rolls in.
“This is to fund their climbing vacation? No thanks.”
“The whole description sounds a bit like an explosion in a cliche factory…”
“I’m stoked to climb and I don’t want to work either. Send me money!”
“A little bit more preparation would make a woman focused climbing video awesome, but not this one.”
It’s the typical mountainproject hate. A lot of vitriol, a lot of pessimism, not a ton of insight. Some of it is just downright mean.
Maybe the girls making this movie never even saw the mountaineproject thread. Or, maybe they just didn’t care. But if they are like me, and like I suspect a lot of people are, they probably let those comments really get to them! Like REALLY REALLY get to them. Enough that they could ruin their day, their week, or destroy their confidence as creatives, or even enough to dissuade them from going through with their project.
What I’m going to encourage you to do here is to just forget about these comments when you see or hear them. Here’s why.
- You’ve heard of sour grapes, right? That’s what this is. A lot of that hate is just thinly veiled jealousy. People can’t stand that these girls are probably going to get a rad trip funded and their start in the tough industry of climbing filmmaking to boot. But you know why these girls are going to get all that? Because they are TAKING THE STEPS to make it happen. Everyone that’s hating? You know what they’re doing? Making memes and trolling the internet. Coming up with and pursuing a creative idea = HARD; hating on a creative idea = EASY. If you’re on the creativity side of the coin, stick with it. It’s hard, but the payout is big.
- Haters don’t know shit about you, or your project; so their opinion of either is basically bunk. AKA, uninformed, useless, and of no value. Don’t let it sway you. Most of the negativity you get will be from people who haven’t spent more than a second or two thinking about your project. Sometimes, they haven’t even considered the project, and have just read the comments thread. Hating is a special kind of thickheadedness, and there’s probably a special kind of hell set aside for haters to all stew around in and hate on one another. Know hate when you see it, and don’t let it get to you. Keep an eye and ear open for constructive criticism, but above all else, trust in your initial vision.
- You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Wayne Gretzky said that. I made a mixed metaphors joke about this in a previous post, but nobody got it. In fact, a lot of internet trolls hated on it relentlessly. The point is, let’s imagine for a second that the haters are right, and your idea does suck. You know what, at least you tried. If you don’t try, you’ll never know. Ideas are a dime a dozen, hard work is priceless. If this idea doesn’t work, maybe the next one will. Maybe Rhiannon and Amy don’t hit their goal on this kickstarter; but you know what they will do? They’ll learn a lot and be much better suited next time around.
- There’s kind of a weird hidden irony to hate-threads on the internet, which is basically that old saying: “any PR is good PR.” If you need proof, just look up Donald Trump. Detractors and haters may wish with all their hearts to destroy your dreams, but if you’re trying to fund a project, all their hate does is draw more attention to the kickstarter campaign, or blog, or whatever it is. I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but it’s true; and ironically enough, it is a good thing. The thing to remember, though, is that out of the x,000 number of people who read or hear about your project, the unfortunate truth is that the loudest voices will also be the most hateful, and the most stupid. Do NOT consider them representative of the entire audience. For every hater, I bet you you have at least ten supporters nodding along quietly.
So there you have it. When you get that deluge of endless criticism and pessimism, shrug it off. Haters are jealous, they don’t know what they’re talking about, and they don’t represent everyone out there. Go forth and follow your far-flung dreams. They’ll never come true unless you stick with it; and if you don’t, you’ll just be another hater lauding ill-thought-out criticism on people visionary and stubborn enough to follow their own dreams.
Here is a link for the Lady Stoke Rockumentary kickstarter. It has some shortcomings, sure, but nothing that any other mainstream climbing film doesn’t also have.
Here is a link to the mountainproject thread for the Lady Stoke Rockumentary.
Here is a link to a mountainproject thread for a Fringe’s Folly article where I was just THRASHED; and yet, that article went on to be quoted in the NY Times.