On Monday I wrote about Tim Buckley's apology to his readers for failing to give credit to an artist who inspired one of his characters. I took that apology as genuine and honest, but it seems there are people out there who seem to think that Buckley intentionally plagiarized simply to be the jerk that he is. I've never met the guy, so I can't speak about his character as a person, but STILL believe he was sincere.
When found out how many people actually hate this artist (and I doubt any of them have even met him), I started to remember other incidents in my past where people I knew hated successful artist (musicians, writers, etc.) for no good reason. When they spat out venomous words against one of these people, I'd ask them what they hated about them, and they always responded with the same, vague answers that sounded more like jealousy and envy.
I've disliked my fare share of celebrities, but with good reason. I grew up working for a company that did live events with musicians and comedians and public speakers. As far as I can remember (and my memories can be flawed) the only times I've genuinely disliked an artist is when they treat me or the crew who works with me with utter disrespect. Otherwise, I try to separate the artist from their work. I may not enjoy someone's movies, albums, or paintings, but without meeting the person, I try not to pass judgment on them based on their works.
Still, as a writer (and many of you are writers, too, so keep this in mind) you won't be able to please everyone all the time. If you have any success at all, the chances are quite high that someone will go out of their way to get your book banned from public and school libraries. Regardless of what you write, someone will find something wrong with it that (in their mind) justifies trolling the internet and insulting you as a person while simultaneously comparing you to famous authors whose success should shame you to quitting forever.
So here's what I have to say: learn what you can from their criticism, and then get on with your work! If people enjoy your work and they want more, then you're doing something right. Just ignore the people who hate you...especially since they never met you.