I am my own worst enemy.
Do you believe those words? Do you beat yourself up on a regular basis with horrible, “I’m not good enough” thoughts?
And…I’m speaking to myself as well as I am to anyone reading this blog. I believe that most creative people have some insecurities about their ability. Part of that comes from the constant competition that we’re up against. We strive to do something that is unique and eye-catching, so that we will stand out from our competitors.
But here’s the little secret that I was told years ago by a man named William (Bill) Badalato. (He is a Hollywood Producer who I happened to meet in Idaho years ago. That’s another story…) Don’t take rejection personally. Actually, I’m sure you’ve heard that before, but for some reason, having him tell me that, made it stick. I still have to remind myself of those words on a regular basis.
At that time I was working as a commercial actress and voice-over talent. I had auditioned for some “B” movie, and though I made it through the first rounds of auditions, I was dismissed after the second rounds. Reason? My height. Nothing to do with my acting ability, but all of the men they were casting were around 5’8″ tall. At 6′ myself, I stuck out like a sore thumb. I wasn’t what they were looking for. Not for that movie. (In hind sight, that was a good thing). But that rejection didn’t discourage me from auditioning for other things. In fact, when I moved to Nashville, my height paid off when I was cast as a LasVegas showgirl in a music video.
And now that I’m pursuing a different area of creativity, I know that I need to apply the same words to my writing. My work is not going to be the perfect fit for every agent or publisher out there. And I know that not every reader will like my kind of stories. But I know that there are people that do like them, and that I will find them a home. I will beat the self-doubt monster down with a stick if I have to. And most importantly, I will keep on writing. I love what I’m doing, and I’m pouring my heart into it.
That being said, if someone criticizes your work, take what they say, review it, and give it consideration. I’ve made great strides forward by listening to what people have told me and learning from others who have succeeded in this business. Some things you may decide have no merit, but other things may be just what you need to push you over the top. Don’t be afraid of criticism, and try your best not to take it personally.
Some things you can’t change. (Like your height!) But some you can. I thought that my writing was great when I first started, but boy did I learn that I had a lot to learn! And, I’m still learning. I hope I keep learning new things for the rest of my life.