1. Read the critiques and comments on pieces by your favorite writers. See that even the beloved work of your idol is hated by someone. Realize the multiplicity of opinions and viewpoints out there and that there is no consensus on what is objectively good or bad.
2. Think about how many people hate Lena Dunham. How much vitriol is spewed about her, and not just her work, but about her body, arguably one of the hardest and most hurtful areas to take criticism about. Think about how she never stops doing what she wants, how she is unequivocally herself and does not let the criticism she receives stop her from producing her truth.
3. Insert clichéd quote about well-behaved women rarely making history.
4. Tell yourself that for every mean comment, there are at least two people who read it, and while they might not have said something nice, they at least didn’t say anything mean. Remember that silence is golden. Think of all the pieces you’ve read and liked and never commented on. Imagine people are doing the same for you.
5. Remember it was your choice to put yourself out there, and your choice to continue putting yourself out there. Mean comments, while hurtful, are also a byproduct of the choice you have made to be in the public eye.
6. Be grateful you’ll never be as widespread as Miley Cyrus. Really think about all the insane things people have said about her on the internet in a seemingly abstract way to you, and then remember that she is an actual real person with feelings. Admire her strength.
7. Remember that at least your parents and friends will always support you and think you’re fabulous. And that they will go online under a pseudonym and defend you. Be reminded of the good in the world when someone who doesn’t know you comes to your defense.
8. Think about how every time someone likes or shares your piece, an angel gets its wings.
9. Rationally evaluate the type of people who spend massive amounts of time online writing hateful comments on articles. Ask yourself what quality of life they must lead to have that much hate in their hearts and that much free time on their hands.
10. Don’t read the comments. Just don’t. Stop seeking validation and write for yourself.