Chapter 27 – There Will Be Trolls
by Leesa Dean
Most people have, at times, had to battle that inner little voice that tells you you’re not good enough, you’re not talented enough, you’ll never truly make it. Welcome to the internet where that little voice is now not only in your head, but in the comments section of your videos for all the world to see.
Everybody’s gone through it. Everybody. When I went to an all day YouTube workshop a number of months back, it included a panel with some of the biggest YouTube stars there are. Half of what they discussed had to do with trolls who comment. The bigger you get, the more trolls you get. It’s inevitable. So how do you deal with it?
–Delete the offending comments at, say, 4am when you have aggravated PMS-induced insomnia/anger issues (not that I would know anything about that.)
–Make them into some bizarre drinking game, like taking a shot of tequila every time you read “You suck!” Warning: this could possibly lead to cirhosis and/or bad dating issues.
–Develop a thick skin. Which is easier said than done.
Part of the way you develop thick skin is simply through time. Ultimately, you’ve got to. It’s sink or swim. The more you go through it, the less it bothers you. Hopefully. It also helps if you’re getting a ton of great comments (which my shows luckily have.)
Another way is to keep moving, keep writing, keep producing. The more you do, the less you become attached to the success or failure of any one thing.
Then there’s this: I’m a tennis fanatic as both a fan and player, though I’m a relative beginner. While I’ve been hitting for a few years on and off, I just started playing games about 6 weeks ago and found that somehow, it’s helped me develop that thick skin.
I wasn’t prepared for exactly how nervous I’d be once I finally started playing sets. It’s seemed like an exercise in humiliation. Screwing up in public with people watching is not only nerve wracking and frustrating but lead to me actually play worse. It’s called choking.
Thing is, I really really want to get better. So I’ve stuck with it. Sink or swim. Started focusing just on the playing and the fun and not on the failure. And, slowly, I’m improving. The humiliation is gone. I’m choking less and hitting better. Looking at every single shot like it’s an opportunity, not a test. I still screw up a bit, but it’s only been 6 weeks.
I realized: Hmmmm, this seems familiar. If I just did that with my shows, if I focused on just the work and didn’t get invested in comments, good or bad, it would help get past some of the disappointments. Guess what? It works.
Now, if only I could only get the trolls to do it!
Next week: Rollo returns and Big Screen Little Screen.