I’m not going to lie, the theme for this blog post totally came from a Taylor Swift song. In the midst of unpacking and repacking during my 5 days back home I was listening to the radio and the song “Shake It Off” came on and instead of switching it, I actually listened and realized that the overall theme was something that I was thinking about a lot in the last few weeks. Haters.
If you’re a content creator, whether online or in the traditional “real world” sense you understand how feedback goes. Sometimes you want it, sometimes you don’t, sometimes it’s constructive and sometimes it’s really not. When I first started posting my work online, I did it for fun, I didn’t have many followers and my personal investment in the photos wasn’t huge. As time went on and things got a bit bigger and I was spending all my time trying to better myself in a lot of different ways I felt like the stakes were getting higher. When I would read negative comments or emails telling me that my work wasn’t good, that my ideas weren’t creative enough or that it wasn’t real photography it started to wear me down and make me start second guessing myself.
Over the last few months I’ve started to let those few voices run rampant inside my mind, letting them build and grow until they became these faceless figures that started to reject any and all ideas that I had. This isn’t the first time I’ve hit a wall like this, for a long time as a teenager and even in my early 20’s I would fixate so much on “what will people say” that it restricted what I actually did with my time and I forced myself to miss out on opportunities because of the possibilities of a what someone would say or do in response.
The last few months have been a mental and emotional test for sure and these fictional blobs of negativity were being fueled by comments and situations involving real people, people I cared about and thought cared about me and that only helped my idea that everything I was doing was wrong. In almost all areas of my life I was doubting myself, doubting my own passions, my own opinions and doubting my own work to the point where I was only creating because I felt I had to. I wasn’t thinking up new ideas because each time I did I visualized someone talking negatively about it, I didn’t want to even write in this blog just because I didn’t want to risk people being bored or having someone not like it. But then a few days ago (with the help of Taylor Swift) I realized again that haters are going to do just that, hate. That no matter what you do there are going to be people who for whatever reason, don’t like it. They won’t like your shirt, they won’t like your favourite movie and they won’t like your photograph and that doesn’t mean it’s not a good shirt, movie or photo it just doesn’t fit them. Deep down I think we know that, but with telling stories or sharing pieces of our lives and emotions through art we’re more sensitive over those comments of negativity, rudeness and sarcasm.
Just like those haters are gonna hate, the best thing that you and I can do as creators is create! Don’t allow those meek voices or opposition cloud your entire creative process because the voices and opinions of those that appreciate, respect and look forward to your work will always hold more worth, not simply because they’re positive but because they allow the confidence in yourself and your work to flourish and that will push you further. You have a unique voice, a unique skill that isn’t share with anyone else in the whole world, you have a story that has its own title and its own chapters and you are the only one that can tell it with 100% truth, never let the haters close that book and keep you from sharing your story with the world, we need to hear it.
Those people with the negative, mindless comments whether it’s online or in person are doing what they do best, doubt other people. If you’re a creator, you should do what you do best and create. Don’t close the door on your ideas, ignore that voice that tells you its cliche or not complex enough, create because it’s your time and your vision and that’s what you’re here to do.
Haters gonna hate but creators gonna create.