Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. -- Gene Fowler

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Detractors: leave 'em in the back of the bus

Seth Godin wrote a fantastic bit of advice in his blog today. It's called "I need you to see things my way". "If you need the validation and acceptance and patronage of everyone you meet," Seth writes, "you'll get stuck, and soon."

As creatives, it's natural for us to want people to like our work, to like us. It's easy to take a critique of a piece personally, to apply it to our own personal self-worth instead of keeping it where it's meant: on the work being critiqued. I've written about this topic here before, but Seth Godin's brief post brings it into focus.

"If the kids in the back of the bus/audience/store don't get it (or don't get you) it's their loss. Focus on those that want to celebrate the work you do instead."

Not long ago a friend of mine stopped by my house and complimented a painting I had hanging on my wall. It's the only example of my own artwork I've so far hung up in my home. If I don't value my artwork, I figured, who will? The friend praised the painting and went so far as to say she might one day purchase one like it for her future business location. People like that are the ones you want to keep close at hand. Turn your back on any detractors you may encounter. Some day they'll wish they could say they knew you before you were famous.

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