Received this the other day and I wish I'd had it when various friends had received bad reviews from critics. This one says it all.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood: Who strives valiently: Who errs, and comes up short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
-US President Theodore Roosevelt
I emphasised the parts I felt most important. How many times do we hear "So how's the book sales? Heard from New York yet?" Or, "You write what? Isn't that porn?" Or in my case, "When are you going to get a Real Job?"
Or we get someone who read our work and didn't like it. So what? Look at your sales. The fan mail. Or, your royalty statement.
In my case, I really don't know how well I've sold. I take comfort in the fact I was on the ebookwise Best Seller list for two or three weeks in August, and people who have read certain excerpts of mine want to read more.
But the next time someone criticizes what you do for a living, ask yourself this: Have they ever put forth the effort? Writing takes a lot of courage. We put ourselves out there; not everyone is going to like what we write. But at least we have the guts to try. I particularly like the last line of that quote: "His (her) place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
If you never try, you never fail. It's like wrapping children in bubble wrap. If they never get a chance to experience life's bumps and bruises, then they never learn to take chances.
I'm all for taking the road less traveled. What about you?