Wednesday, April 30, 2008


One the hardest things to take as a creative worker is when someone tells you no.

If we're any good, if we care at all about what we do, we invest so much of ourselves in it. Creating something out of thin air, combining random influences into something new, is not like any other job. Sure, everyone experiences disappointment and everyone at some point feels like they aren't being listened to, but imagine a career where you're told going in that 80% of what you do will just be no good. With no guideline or yardstick as to what is good, besides your own instinct.

The thing that I think most of us crave more than anything else is external validation. Otherwise, why would be exposing ourselves so vulnerably? I know I get a high when someone I respect tells me they like something I've done.

The flips side of that is how crushing it can be when you don't get that validation. I think people don't understand what it is like to stay in a career path where most of the time, people tell you you're not good. Even when people do like what you've done, there's almost never the level of appreciation that would make the rejections worthwhile. I think maybe, if we were really honest, what we would like most is a deep, heartfelt hug to express the levels of humanity that we revealed through our joke about suitcases.

That's the real problem. There's not enough hugging involved.

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