I am working on a top secret project that is really exciting. Mostly I feel driven and passionate about it and very motivated by the general interest it has provoked. Mostly. Hopefully I’ll be able to talk publicly about it soon.
The reason I’m not saying more here? WELL. Things were going really, really awesomely for a while, so I opened up to some, er, people I know about the project. I knew it was a mistake pretty much the minute the description of the project escaped my lips. (You know when you can see the words you just uttered in a bubble above your head? And you wish you could just shovel those words back into your mouth? Well, that happened.) Ever since I opened my big fat mouth about it, I’ve had to deal with non-stop comments about how I am DOOMED TO FAILURE, either because of the insignificant size of my platform and/or my topic area (Sample comments: “You need 77,000 followers to do ANYTHING worthwhile.” and “No one will care about your topic.”)
Then I actually ran into a real obstacle. It is not an insurmountable hurdle at all: in fact, the incident helped me decide upon a crucial point I had been endlessly debating.
But the lingering sting of rejection and the naysayers are getting me down. I’ve never been great at accepting the answer “no.” My (very few) modeling days were fraught with insecurity and I obsessed over the negative things people said about my appearance, not remembering any of the positives. (My lips were too small and needed collagen injections was the most frequent criticism I got. I was 16! So no, I wasn’t going to get collagen injections. I used to put an icepack on my lips to try to get that bee stung look. It didn’t work.) I was scouted multiple times by multiple agencies (including a very prestigious agency in NYC) and in most cases I didn’t even get to the answer “no” because I couldn’t handle the answer “no” so I didn’t even pursue opportunities. I kind of regret that now. On the other hand, I’m sure the answer WOULD have been no.
The thing is, writing and modeling (and acting for that matter) are kind of similar, right? Lots of people want to do these things for a living. Ergo, there WILL be a ton of rejection. You can give up, or you can never surrender, to paraphrase Galaxy Quest.
I was bombarded by rejection during infertility treatments. I probably would have given up sooner had I not been under serious pressure to make it work.
What’s worse? Chasing a dream? Is that wasting your time? Is being surrounded by naysayers detrimental? Or are they around to keep you focused on the ground, where you actually live?
I don’t know the answer, as usual. So I’ll put it to you, oh wise ones. How do you handle naysayers and/or rejection? Does it prevent you from pursuing your dreams? Is it a waste of time to even pursue dreams? Should we stay grounded to the earth?