Before beginning: There will be swearing today.
We are not addressing valid criticism or feedback in this post.
Creating is amazing. It's messy, exhilarating, glorious, a pain in the ass. You make shit. You love it.
You create for yourself, sure. But you also create things to share with others. To help them. Teach them. Make them get... feelings. Yeah, you love praise and the thought that you may one day be famous or rich, but it's really about one thing for those who are true artists: Connection.
Oh, but the world doesn't just provide you, talented as you are, with an audience at your doorstep. Nope. Sorry. They're scattered worse than the seven Dragon Balls or the Chaos Emeralds. They're all over the place, and you have to go looking. You poor bastard.
So, you take to social media. You start a blog. You become ensconced in the electronic temple and begin to forge a chain link by link, and yard by yard in the hopes that your audience finds you. They will, with agonizing slowness, locate you, but... other people will find you, too.
There have always been assholes, those little balls of fun who would rather destroy than uplift. The Internet is a fertile breeding ground for them. Anytime you put your art out there, especially if you're a "different" artist doing a "different" thing, you will come across these delights of humanity.
They'll make you feel like absolute shit. Even if you have a couple hundred fans. Especially if you have only a few. You'll question everything. You'll want to give up because they don't. Your joy becomes a nightmare.
You can ignore the trolls, engage them, throw your d20 and hope for a critical, but it will still damage the way you view your talent, art, and people. It will sting no matter what some days, no matter how thick your skin.
But one of the best things you can do in defense is surround yourself with your audience. Your fans, supportive family members, friends, and like-minded individuals will ease the blows. They will provide you with a counterbalance to all the negative filth defiling your words, camera, brush, song. They will lend you enthusiasm when others long to steal it.
Research the artists you admire. Every famous person has had people putting them down. It means nothing. Well, maybe it does. Maybe it means you're destined for something greater, too. It definitely means dickwagons have existed for eons and generally have poor taste.
Keep going. The best weapons are forged in high temperatures. Kill them in your story. Seek out songs of revenge to sing. Paint worlds where evil people meet their untimely, brilliant demise. But don't stop loving what you do. Don't give them the satisfaction.
You have more potential than you know.
Two Twitter events soon my disabled, neurodivergent artists:
1. On October 12th, at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, the next #CripLit Chat will take place. It's about disabled writers, intersectionality, and diverse literature. The conversation is always interesting.
2. On October 14th, #ArtfulSpoons is having a virtual gallery night for artists of all mediums who are disabled, chronically ill, neurodivergent, etc. You can see gorgeous creations of all kinds and meet some cool people.
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