Monday, March 5, 2012

Being Optimistic in a Pessimistic World

Keeping a positive attitude in life is sometimes difficult, but through it all, I try to look for the good in life.  Ignoring the naysayers isn't easy, but when you find what you want to do in life, enjoy doing it.  Keep going.  Don't quit.  Giving up is often easier than trudging forward into the battle, but the reward is more satisfactory if you fight on.  You might be scarred and bruised, but at least you can hold your head up with pride and know that you gave it your all, in spite of those who hoped you'd stop and fail.

With the Internet, people can assume an alias and go onto Youtube, Amazon, and other sites to write ruthless things about artists that they would never otherwise have the courage to say face-to-face.  Of course, hiding behind an alias isn't courageous.  To "like" or "dislike" a video, song, or book isn't the problem.  Everyone is entitled to their honest opinion.  But only if it stopped there.  Sadly, I've come across ruthless remarks toward musicians and authors that have no merit.  They simply want to verbally assault others, and somehow this gives them satisfaction to debase others.  In some instances, I truly see jealousy as the motive.

Has our world become so bitter that this is how people cope by bashing others?  I often read the comments under Yahoo news articles, and I discovered something.  Even with the most positive comment, you'll see about 10% of the people give the comment a thumbs down.  Why?  Do they view the world so negatively?  Have they lost their hope?  Perhaps they have.

Understandably, not everyone will have the same likes in music or books.  That's a given.  We're all different, and that's a good thing.  Each good musician or author will gather an audience.  And not one will receive all "Likes" or "5 Stars."  King, Koontz, and Asimov have all received 1 star reviews, lots of them, so no one is immune.

So what's an artist to do?  Keep doing what you're doing.  Make music or write novels.  Whatever your gift is, you express it to the best of your ability.  Always strive to produce the best work possible.  Don't settle for second best.  And don't release a product that's simply not ready for the public's consumption.  That's not fair to you or your audience.

Don't let others rule your art.  If you're fearful of the negative reviews, stop reading them.  If the reviews are honest and point out something that you can correct, do so.  But if they are geared as an attack toward you, the artist, ignore them and go on.  Keep writing.  Keep moving forward.  You are the ruler of your art.  Shape it how you see it.  And above all, keep your chin up and smile even if it hurts.

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