I see a recurring theme on social media of late. If someone doesn’t like what an author/creator is doing or the direction they took, the first response seems to be “I hate you and everything about you.” Some of this seems to be politics and identity based, because God knows, we’ve become a fractured society of late, where every comment and complaint has political overtones whether meant or not. Some of it is that there’s just a whole lot of negative attitudes about everything.
So what’s the point I’m getting at? Enable other people to succeed. If you aren’t happy with the status quo, make the world a bit better, a bit brighter. A little bit at a time. Don’t like a book or movie? Send them personal feedback (I get some almost every day, I really appreciate it). If you *do* like something, tell them that you like it. Write a review. If you have your own ideas of how to do it better, write the story or create the art yourself. If you know someone who’s got great ideas, enable them! Tell them they should write that story. Put them in contact with writers (or artists, or movie makers, or whoever). I found my current narrator for Valor’s Child that way. I’ve helped friends to get books finished and to get published. You know what? It feels really fucking good to do that.
Bashing something that someone likes (be it books, movies, games, whatever) is not going to win you friends. It’s not going to make anyone feel better, except in the miserable sort of hey, “we-hate-everything-too,” sort of way. Embrace the positive in life, because the world is plenty full of suck as it is.
There’s a whole world of wonder out there people. We launched a God-damned Tesla into space. How freaking cool is that? We live in a day and age where more information and entertainment is at our fingertips than we know what to do with. The world isn’t ending. The vast majority of my readers have a roof over their heads and don’t live in terror of warlords and bandits.
Being positive is hard. Helping others is hard. Building stuff instead of tearing it down is also hard. But that’s how we all get better. I’m not saying you have to like everything (Trust me, there’s plenty I hate), but it’s generally good for your mental well-being to focus on the positive. Be like Deadpool. You don’t have to get it all right. You don’t even have to get it mostly right. Just trying a little bit, every day goes a lot further than you may realize.
At the end of the day, when all is said and done, how do you want to be remembered? Do you want to be the person that everyone secretly came to loathe… or do you want to be the person that everyone has a good story about? Helping other people is a way to help yourself.