When you tell yourself that you’ll never amount to anything you are wrong. Use that, if you can, to do better. Work at those problems. Prove yourself wrong.
Maybe the rejection letter was curt, churned out like a widget, or maybe it was wordy, with a misused semicolon, and penned in a respectable Serif font. Maybe the missive employed grotesque let-you-down-easy phrasing such as, “There is much to admire about your work.” (Imagine if some guy said this to you: “There is much to admire about your figure, but that face…” The ignoramus sucks teeth and then licks lips. Or vice versa, as the ignoramus possesses no method for prioritizing offensive facial tics.)
Waiting on Perfection
See the Slate series, Daily Rituals: Life Hacking Tips from Novelists, Painters and Filmmakers.
[P]erhaps the single best piece of advice I can offer to anyone trying to do creative work is to ignore inspiration.
This idea comes up over and over again in the book. William Faulkner: “I write when the spirit moves me, and the spirit moves me every day.” George Balanchine: “My muse must come to me on union time.” Chuck Close: “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.” John Updike: “I’ve never believed that one should wait until one is inspired because I think that the pleasures of not writing are so great that if you ever start indulging them you will never write again.” George Gershwin said that if he waited for inspiration, he would compose at most three songs a year.
All very true. All very hard to learn.