A Professional Doesn’t Take Failure (or Success) Personally

This past week I picked up The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.  The book snagged me, and I finished it in less than 24 hours.  In it there was a powerful piece of advice.  “When people say an artist has a thick skin, what they mean is not that the person is dense or numb, but that he has seated his professional consciousness in a place other than his personal ego.” 
            I got my chance to practice thick skin several weeks ago when a review of the first chapter of my current novel (working Title: Variant) came back from writing group.  The group had some really positive comments and were excited to see more, however, there was one reviewer who came back with harsh, negative comments.  Despite the positive comments which review do you think I mulled over the most?  When it came down to write again the comments still haunted me.  So, I went back and reviewed what he had to say.  In the end I found two comments that I could do something about: one grammar mistake and the tension in the middle dipped a little.  The others were subjective (along the lines of I didn’t like it).
          Taking rejection personally only paralyzes the writer further.  Going down the path makes ourselves our own worst enemy.  Instead fix what can be fixed, what is good make better, and always come back the next day.

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