There was a time when I thought these things mattered. Luckily, I don't judge my success by the opinions on the forum. I can judge my friends on the basis of who chooses to stand up for me. It's appreciated when people step in. These days, people are very positive about me. It used to be slightly different:
Troll: Ashley is so very shit.
Helpful friend: NO!... he's... not... that... bad...
So, thanks to all who've stuck up for me. And thanks for the trolls whose creative insults seem now to make me chuckle. I must have grown a thicker skin. Like a custard/rice-pudding hybrid.
One afterthought: most new acts go through a phase of not being all that good. The question is whether they learn what stuff doesn't really work, and improve. I've seen a lot of new/non-pro acts recently. I hope they learn some of the things I've learned. Those that don't will either give up, or drive themselves to ruin.