Good Morning everyone.  Short post today as I spent too much time rental hunting when I should have been working.  The internet has never allowed me to be more and less productive at the same time.

So yesterday marked a milestone in our writing career, and it’s a milestone that all of us will handle in some form in our chosen homesteading endeavours.  We got our first Negative Nancy one star review on our book on Amazon.  No, literally, her name is Nancy.  Now I am not upset by this, as I knew it was only a matter of time.  I also know that the book is good, because people who I know, and whose opinions I actually value have told me that they like it.  If there was some form of actual feedback that I could use to make my product better, I would even welcome the poor review.

There wasn’t.  The comments involved too many typos (which is true) and misused words (which isn’t true).  That’s it.  All of the information in my book was magically invalidated because of some minor errors.  Because in this person’s mind, polish is more important than substance.  On the plus side, I was the first review she ever wrote on Amazon.  So from a new media perspective, my writings caused an action.  That counts as a win.

Now those first two paragraphs sound self serving, but they aren’t meant to be.  We all run into this person, no matter what field we are in.  If you have a blog, someone has said it’s boring.  If you wrote a book, someone has written a negative review.  If you made a cool youtube video about gardening, someone complained about the camera work.  We have all hit this mark at some point.  If you haven’t, it’s because you are new.  What’s is important, is learning how to handle it in the appropriate manner.

The first step, is to have the opinions of people you trust.  Every crazy wingnut on the internet isn’t going to like your stuff, but do people you respect like it.  If you don’t have people you respect looking at your work, find some.  In my case, I interact with The Tribal Future community on Facebook, and if something was bad, it would be pointed out to me.  If it keeps my fans entertained, then I am doing a good job.

The second step, is to see if you can make improvements to your product.  Did you make typos?  Can you do better camera work?  Can you post more often?  If you can make improvements, then you can consider them.  If you can’t, then don’t worry about them.  You can only control so much, there is no point in worrying about things you can’t control.

Lastly, what has your critic ever done?  If they are critiquing your blog, where is there’s?  If they hate your book, what have they written?  If they don’t like your Youtube video, how many have they put up?  While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I will take the literary advice of a best selling author over someone who has never written a book any day.  It is easy for people to criticize when they have never produced.  Don’t tell me, show me.

In the end, if you are selling a product, the marketplace will tell you if you are doing a good job.  Bad work never sells.  If you are producing a product for free, who cares what others think?  Relegate negative Nancy to her place.

Nancy, on the off chance you ever read this.  Thanks for the 1 star.  I didn’t know what to write about today, and you gave me a great topic to share with my friends.  There are probably typos in it to.  Each one is just a little signal to how irrelevant you are, unless you can show me how to do it better.

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