Just saw this passage on Tucker Max's blog ... and I can't believe how much I agree with it. I wish I would have written it - because it's absolutely 100% true and how I've tried to live my life for the past few years. Disagree all you want - but someday you'll see.
You need to understand this and expect it to happen to you before you get into the business, that way you will be prepared to deal with it when it comes. Here is how you handle the haterz:
You cannot be all things to all people, and no matter how great you are, someone will hate you. Even if you are perfect--literally perfect, with no reason for anyone to do anything other than love you--some people will hate you simply because you ARE perfect. Such is envy; it is all about how the envious person sees themselves and ultimately has nothing to do with you.
Furthermore, you WILL do it wrong at first. It's not easy to bust your ass and work hard on something that you love, only to have some douchebag troll hate on you for it. That causes an almost involuntary emotional reaction the first time you deal with it. The key is not to ignore the emotion, but to consider the source, and realize that you have no reason to care what a person who hates their own life thinks about yours. Yes, feedback does matter, and yes, constructive criticism is necessary to improve, and yes, fans do matter--but I'm not telling you to ignore any of that. I'm telling you that all fans don't matter the same.
There is another side to this also, a sort of corollary: You have to ignore the gushing worshippers too.
The people who think you are a god and walk on water and can do no wrong and should be lord emperor of all creation--and I get way more of those emails and comments than from haterz, like 20-1--those people are just as toxic to you and your work.
Here's why: Neither the haterz nor the worshippers really care about you or what you do. They are simply using you as a proxy to fill some sort of hole in their soul. The haterz use you as a dumping ground for their self-loathing; the worshippers use you as a idol upon which to derive some sense of self from. Listen to the haterz and you'll obsess over whats wrong with you or start to believe you are wrong; listen to the worshippers and you'll start to believe you are invincible, that you can do no wrong and that if you do it, that's enough for it to be right. Both perspectives are detached from reality.
If you want to work in the entertainment business, the point should be to make great art. Every job that doesn't have "executive" in the title is ultimately about art, and art is not about hate or worship, it's about expression and appreciation. Some art talks to lots of people, other art doesn't, and if you want to be in the business of art then you need to focus on creating art that talks to a lot of people. But the people at the margins--those who harbor extreme hate or extreme worship--should be ignored at all costs, because they are not only a minority, they are toxic and dysfunctional and listening to either of them about anything is the easiest way to ruin yourself.
This may sound obvious, but I know a lot of people in this business, and not one of them dealt with this issue well at the beginning, and many were ultimately crippled by it. I think this is probably something you have to go through before you can understand it--like how Fight Club doesn't make sense until you've had an awful job--but if you are getting started or thinking of getting started in an artistic career, remember this advice. It will serve you well.
Starting today we're going to be trying out a new feature on Tuesdays. Basically it's going to be a day for me to highlight an album, artist, or whatever I feel like for a day and get reactions and responses from all of you. At the moment I'm going to call it "My Soapbox" - but if we ever come up with a better name, it'll be changed.
For the first feature we're going to highlight: P.O.S. - an album that has been getting a lot of buzz but remains one of the rare occasions where the album absolutely deserves all of the hype. Two greatalbum reviews, thousands of views and hundreds of comments in the forums, and it remains one of the best albums released so far this year (of any genre). If you've been putting off picking it up, or checking it out, because you just don't like "hip-hop" - I implore you to give it a chance. This could very well be the album that changes your musical taste. It's the kind of release that opens your eyes to a version of hip-hop not usually seen in the mainstream: creative, intelligent, witty, and brash. If you're looking for that next album to kick you in the teeth and dominate your playlist? This is it.
I'd love to hear thoughts from you. Have you given this album a listen yet? Do you plan to? What do you think? Are there any other artists you'd recommend that sound like this? Anyone else as excited as I am about a future Astronautalis/P.O.S release? The two tracks they've done together so far have sounded damn good (last track on both of their latest albums). Let's hear it.
Probably can't tell what it says -- but it's a poster for the new POS album and tour. I thought it was cool to see in my town - so I took a picture while driving through. The album is out in a week or so -- and it's one of the first "must owns" of the year. Way better than "album of the decade" hipster dance music.