Today’s Lesson Learned
October 31, 2013 by ray4115
Today’s lesson is simple. If you put your work and yourself out there, in the public eye, some people will celebrate your work and your effort and your success, no matter how small. Other people will use your exposure as a way to exalt themselves by denigrating you, your efforts and your work.
I knew this, and have seen it with the works of others. Whether artworks, or stories, poetry or crafts, some people will say, “Wow, congratulations!” Congratulations for the recognition of your peers, the public, the publisher or the gallery, and sometimes even the critics. Even if the genre of the work is not something they personally care for, they are generous in their praise for your success.
Others – not so much.They do not say “Congratulations” or provide any positive feed back whatsoever, for effort or success. They may say something offhand, like, “You only got one story published? Lots of people got more than that.” Or they may say, “If 300 people submitted and they picked 50, then you had a one in six chance! Pretty good odds. Better go buy a lottery ticket.” Or, my personal favorite, “He got one story published, and then he died.”
I am going to take the success of this moment of personal triumph and squeeze every drop pf personal satisfaction I can out of it. I am going to use the juice of that success to fuel further efforts and aim for greater success with my work. It is not about money or fame, it is about the joy of acceptance and the knowledge that someone out there is going to read my story, relate to it, and smile as it brings them to a recollection of their own.
I will write for me and for them and that will be success enough.
Addendum: Another lesson learned from a Master:
Stephen King’s definition of a talented writer on Wikipedia: “If you wrote something for which someone sent you a check, if you cashed the check and it didn’t bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.”