Have you ever gotten a rude comment?
I think if you’re above the age of eight, you’ve gotten at least one rude comment in your life. The topics for “picking on people” are endless. I certainly got the “four eyes” comment from my classmates, thanks to my glasses. I look back on that and I can say with certainty that the comment hurt. It certainly drove me to seek contacts lenses when I was older. I even had someone comment once on my French Manicure I did myself. The white tips were too big for how short my nails were. Who even notices things like that?
I ask all of this because as a creative you need to have a backbone with commentary on your work. It is that commentary that makes you better, but it’s also that commentary that can pull you down if you let it. You need resiliency.
Any writer that says they do their work entirely by themselves; the writing, the editing, the book design, the proofread. I call foul (🐓 not that kind of fowl, silly). Many self-published authors do a large majority of the work on their own, but no writer—traditionally published or not—can do this job alone. Especially as an Indie Author, I wouldn’t be where I am without the support from my editor, beta readers, and my husband. Sure, I come up with the ideas and actually write the stories, but I also would never get far if I had to do it all by myself.
Which leads me back to resiliency. I’ve gotten some pretty hard to stomach comments from beta readers about my work. I didn’t want to make the changes because I didn’t think the changes need to be made. There have been plenty of times when I think something makes sense within the story, and what I write does not make a lick of sense to anyone else. Couldn’t people just stretch their imagination a little more?
The beta readers and my editor make/have made those comments for a reason. I can’t imagine how horrible my stories would turn out if I didn’t have beta readers giving me honest feedback about my stories. Outside opinions are essential to improvement. Let me say that again. Outside opinions are essential to improvement. When I was in college, I took beginner art classes, and if there was one thing I had to learn, it was to grow a thick skin. Someone constructively criticized my drawings for even the most minor of details. Did I hate it? Absolutely. But because I took those constructive criticisms and applied them, I became a much better artist. Because of constructive criticisms, I have become a better writer.
A while ago, I had a friend point out to me the resiliency of children while learning. She said that when a child is learning something, walking is probably the clearest example. They keep at it until they make it happen. How many times do they fall? A lot. How many times do they get back up and try again? Every time. Until they get it. Did someone teach them resiliency? No. I think it’s something that is ingrained into us as humans, perseverance, but somewhere along our lifetime (without the proper guidance and support) we forget just how much we can accomplish when we don’t listen to that little negative voice inside our heads.
Here’s a question for you: do we fault the learning child for falling or needing our help?
They do not know how to balance on two legs. They do not know how to speak in complete sentences. They do not know how to put the circle block into the circle hole until they learn what it takes to accomplish each of those things. We do not expect them to get it on the first try. They need our help.
So why, then, do we place unreasonable expectations on ourselves to learn and know something the first time we try it?
Why, as adults, have we lost the mentality of resiliency?
A mental state natural to a child must be learned as an adult? I don’t think it should be learned. I think we should tap into that instinct and put it to good use. Therefore, it is important to have others around you for support. If it was not for the help of people around me, I would not have continued being a writer. I’ve succeeded not only because of my beta readers or my editor, but also because of my husband. He’s been my biggest cheerleader and given up a lot for me to pursue something that I enjoy. His sacrifice gives me the confidence to remain resilient through even the hardest moments when I want to give up.
Falling on our butts is a natural part of life. It’s why we have extra padding back there. Falling does not me I have failed. I just mean that I have not found the way that works yet. Sound familiar?
Share a brief story with me how you were resilient in the comments! I'd love to know about the time you picked yourself back up off the floor, told that little negative voice in your head to "shut up" and continued to do what you do best. Be creative.
If you'd like to see how I show resiliency in the my characters stories, check out my books by clicking on the book page at the top of the website. You can also click here: https://www.tjfisherwriter.com/characters&resiliencytjfisherwriter