Don’t Feed The Trolls
We’ve all run across one of these people at some time in our writing career. They hang around under the bridge of our happiness, ready to knock us back a few feet. Their commentary can be on reviews, or they can appear on our Facebook fan page and Twitter. Their sole purpose in life is to make us feel bad about our writing skills, about ourselves, and to give up.
Did you hear right? A troll wants us to give up?
Well, maybe not give up writing entirely, but give up on the project we’ve labored long and hard on. They’re poking us with a stick, wanting us to blow up and tell them exactly what we think of their behavior. If you do that, you’ve made them very happy and they will continue to harangue you, poking that stick into your soft point, until you explode again.
The internet has created a monster. The troll hides behind their computer screen, daily spewing out their vitriol behind a fake name, never fearing anyone will find out who they really are. They are found on every site that offers people a way to speak out about what has been posted, be it a product or a news story. All they’re looking for is validation for their point of view.
Just what is a troll?
According to Wikipedia, a troll is a person who sows discontent on the internet by starting arguments or upsetting people by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
In other words, harken back to the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. This Norwegian folk tale has three billy goats attempting to cross a bridge, but a troll continues to threaten to “eat them up.” Internet trolls are much the same as that legendary creature. They are threatening to “eat us up” by vying for our attention and once they have it, they will continue to goad us until we respond.
Ignore the trolls. They will move onto greener pastures, where someone responds to their outrageous commentary.