This quote has always been very near and dear to my heart. And today I need it because OUCH, I’m still reeling from the feedback from my prof and my programme director about the short story I submitted. Let’s just say there were tears.
Almost all the work I’ve sent out into the world for publication has been non-fiction, either academic or political writing. And when it comes to that, I’m fearless, critical feedback doesn’t bother me. But fiction? Yikes. I’ve always been nervous to share that with anyone because it is so deeply personal. It’s like sending out a little piece of my soul into the world and leaving it to fend for itself.
But it’s also the only way to grow as an artist, which is the exact reason why I decided to get another master’s degree, this time in creative writing. I wanted to immerse myself in the world that I love and learn how to be better.
But still. Damn. The critique was intense. I don’t just have room to improve, I have acres to improve. Miles. Light years.
So, after wiping away the tears and eating a few chocolate-covered Oreos, I reminded myself that this is a tough program in a top school, so yeah, it’s gonna be rough. And as I regained my equilibrium, I started to feel grateful. Because when it gets right down to it, I know that those words that were painful to hear are the ones I need so I can be better at my art.
And this moment? When I keep working through the stinging disappointment and cringing self-consciousness? This is what I’m hoping will someday make me good. It’s what I’m counting on to close that gap Ira Glass talks about.
Once I wiped away my tears and had one last chocolate-covered Oreo, the first thing I did was open my computer and get back to work.