Thick Skin and Perfect Timing

You need a thick skin if you’re going to work in the arts. Rejection is as important an ingredient towards making one better at his or her craft, as study, practice, and inspiration.

Rejection makes us better artists because it forces us to fix mistakes and approach the work differently, more diligently. It makes us NOT fall into a well of self proclaimed greatness. It forces us to continue to develop our ideas, long after we first felt the notion that we might be finished with ’em.

Still, rejection is a hard medicine to swallow.

While everything I wrote about my immediate reaction to the news that the CFC was not going to accept me into their program was true, I hadn’t commented on how I felt after that rejection seeped into me, upon deep reflection.

My confidence in my writing was a bit shaken. I submitted a polished pilot script, and a first draft spec script. While certain the first draft could use another couple passes, it couldn’t have been that bad. Could it?

They say you don’t show a first draft of anything to anyone but your most trusted confidantes – peers who can help you make the work better, before you show it to strangers – strangers who possess the power to influence your career.

Or maybe I’m just not as good as I think I am?

Dunno. Every one of my trusted colleagues – individuals who have had long careers as writers – have all said great things about my work. Maybe I’m just better than most, but not as great as those working as writers?

As I said, thick skin. You need to believe in yourself. Rise above self doubt to simply drill deeper into the craft.

I know I could be doing more to develop myself – and that’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to –

And then my email dinged.

“…is your piece, “Not Being a Dick” still unproduced at this time?  I really enjoyed reading your play, and found the concept to be absurd (in a good way!), funny, and very original.  I’d love to pass it on to the company members in consideration for a future season if it’s still eligible.”

It was from an established theatre company in Chicago – home to the second largest theatre market in North America!  After ten revisions, my play caught the eye of a stranger who could influence the shape of my career!

How’s that for timing?

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