Thin Skin Need Not Apply

I have been in the process of turning my penchant for writing into something more than just a hobby for a little over a year now. I will be the first to admit I have loads to learn and I am exponentially far from best-seller territory. However, I have noticed personal growth that I am quite proud of. When reading words I have recently penned and comparing them to scribbles in a notebook from a year ago, the difference is remarkable and apparent.
I write because I enjoy spinning tales in my mind that may spark from something as small as a picture. My mind is chock full and if I don’t write them down as soon as they begin to weave, I know they just might be lost forever.
I think the biggest difference between jotting down errant ramblings and taking the plunge into actually building a manuscript, is the knowledge that at its completion you intend to share it for other eyes to see. Talk about nerve racking! One must be prepared to take the good with the bad, no holds barred. The ability to recover from the cruelest of criticism and carry on nonetheless, decides just how far you will go.
I had my first brush with the not so uplifting side of the writing world this past weekend. After biting the bullet and sharing a snippet of a current work in progress on an author’s Facebook Page for what I thought to be a fun activity, I found myself rewarded with the broadcasting of minor grammatical errors by said author, right there for all the world to see. First, I felt overwhelmingly numb and soon abject deflation followed.
I sat back in my chair and stared at the words that seemed to disrobe me of all my clothes and dignity, trying to decide my next move. Do I make a snarky reply, pointing out my unawareness that grammatical perfection had been part of the exercise being that it referred to a work in PROGRESS? Do I delete my snippet entirely and skulk away with my tail between my legs, thinking twice about ever sharing my work again? Or lastly, do I accept this moment as a learning experience and view the public slight as the first step towards developing a thicker skin?
I am pleased to say I proceeded with the latter, thanking the author for his input. Yeah it sucked and yeah, I felt like someone had pointed out a strip of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe in front of a crowd of professional peers. However, after all is said and done I can look back holding my head up. I am not perfect and nor do I claim to be. I am growing and learning with everyday being a step closer to my ultimate goal. This will certainly not be my first encounter with criticism of an undesirable nature. In fact, it is just getting started. Callouses are a part of every professional sport and a way for your skin to protect itself from the recurring stress placed upon it. I am in the process of developing my first callous, a suit of emotional armor needed to pursue my dreams.

One thought on “Thin Skin Need Not Apply

  1. I for one am very proud to say I have read quite a few of your stories. As an avid reader I loved the fact that each story I read had a great plot with a cast of some very fascinating characters that seem to jump off the page and into your mind, taking you along for the ride. Had I as much talent a you possess I would never second guess myself. each and every one of your stories from start to finish is always a damned good read. I am a truly blessed to be able to see you chart your way to success. Thankyou for that!!!

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