Don’t let success make you or failure break you.
Wow. We authors have to walk a tight line between believing in ourselves/our stories, and becoming arrogant and hard-headed. We must pitch them with confidence and passion, but remain teachable. I like how James Scott Bell just gets the hard truths out there and over with. People are opinionated. Some just let you know with a little less tact and a lot less love. We have to prepare ourselves to be skinned alive and not allow it to affect our ability to function as people, as writers.
So, how do we prepare? I think we can tell ourselves that we won’t crash and burn after a horrifying review or critique, but we are human. Until we actually face the “haters”, it really is just platitudes. We have to walk through that experience. Or crawl. After we pick ourselves back up and continue on, we grow as writers and develop a healthier confidence. Of course, it all comes down to a choice. Do we allow it to embitter us or empower us?
On the flip side of ego, maybe some of us don’t have a problem with negative reviews. Maybe we think we are great and refuse to listen to feedback. Or we are surrounded by people laying on the love, filling our heads with even more greatness, but there’s no truth behind their words. And if we don’t face the truth, we can’t grow.
I’ve not met anyone like that. Have you?
Toward the end of the chapter, Bell seemed to take a more, would you say, an aggressive tone concerning the rising number of arrogant up-and-coming writers, but I like what he said in the following quote:
“…being a published writer is a privilege you earn.You’re not going to earn it by tooting a horn no one wants to hear. You’re going to earn it by knuckling down and writing, and letting the writing itself do the tooting for you.”
So, what say you?