“If people don’t love or hate your work, then you really haven’t done that much.” Tinker Hatfield
Love that name, “Tinker” — and love this quote! Tinker Hatfield is a well-known designer associated with Nike — a creative with a sharp eye and, I suspect, a sharp tongue. When I saw this pithy bit of wisdom emblazoned on a sandwich board at a local coffee shop, it really jumped out at me. It made me think of writing and the Big R: Rejection.
Unless we tuck our poetry and prose under our pillow at night or stuff it in a drawer or let it languish on our computers, we’re going to face rejection. Sure, some people are going to love what we do. But some will hate it. They won’t relish our subject or our style or our genre or our genre jumping or… You name it. But as Tinker suggests, better a strong reaction good or bad, than a lukewarm one. Then we’ve got porridge. All this called to mind a great sales formula:
Stick with it
Some will — Some people will like or even love what we do. That’s great, especially if some of them are editors, publishers, and agents.
Some won’t — Some people will take a pass on us for one reason or another. Mostly these decisions prove to be unfathomable, so we’re better off seeing this as part of the territory.
So what! — We can wring our hands and turn the story of these naysayers into a tale of woe or we can do what Babe Ruth did. Whether he hit a home run or struck out, he tipped his hat. He cultivated what one admirer called an “air of indifference” and just kept swinging.
Someone’s waiting — Somewhere out there, someone receptive is waiting for our work. Every time we put it out there, we’re a step closer to finding out who it is — and that’s exciting!
Stick with it — Don’t quit, can’t fail. Let’s take this as a mantra. As long as we mine any constructive feedback we receive and keep on improving and digger deeper, we’re on the road to success. It may take a while, but if we stick with it, we’ll get there. So keep going!
Stop worrying — We don’t have any control over what other people think — whether they love or hate what we do. So let’s not get all angsty about it. Let’s focus on the power we do have and what we do control: our devotion to craft, our effort, and our attitude. Write on!
* The wonderful SW Formula comes to us via Dr. Rob Gilbert’s fabulous Success Hotline. Be sure to check it out: 973.743.4690.