Before dissolving into floods of tears at the denunciation and rejection of our latest work, It is worth remembering that other people can put us down for all kinds of reasons, and often it has absolutely nothing to do with us. So we should never take it personally, however personal it feels. At the end of the day is another cliche of course, and also the understanding that the slant of life always comes down to not much more than a point of view.
Ha! Try that slice of home-spun philosophy when you are offering up your dearest darlings to a publisher..!
Anyway the point is, if it gets too bad we can always retreat into the darkness of our literary lair and lick our wounds. The important thing is to let them heal, and not keep knocking the scabs off with the razor sharp reasoning of our monkey minds. Ouchy.
I was heartened to hear the story of Take That front man Gary Barlow and his song writing efforts. As a youngster he would travel down to London every week knocking on the doors of record companies. Time after time he was rejected without even getting his music heard - but did he give up? Hell no. Finally he got in to see the record company responsible for Elton John's songs, and they actually listened to his tape from start to finish without interruption. Gary was over the moon! At last he was getting somewhere. When the tape finished, the agent took it out of the machine and threw it out of the window. "Don't ever come here again!" he said.
Surely that would have done it for most of us, but not Mr Barlow. I have to admire his tenacity and self belief, and I wonder if he would be kind enough to send me some in the post - 1st class please as I'm running out of time.
It seems to me the two greatest blocks to success are things that don't even exist. One is lack of belief in oneself and one's abilities, and the other is fear of criticism. Both are just thoughts we keep thinking.
What if it didn't hurt? What if someone else's criticism was seen as just a point of view, and as such, to be considered and acted upon if useful, or rejected if not. What if it was never taken personally, but seen as something more positive and an opportunity to learn something?
It all comes down to us, and the way we choose to handle it. Of course, we have to get out of the suffocating safety of our box/cage/prison in the first place... and that's the really tough bit.