I’ve just immersed myself in the blog posts of Susannah Breslin. She’s a snarky, wise-ass freelancer who writes career advice for women at Forbes online, among other things. And her advice to women is essentially this: Stop blubbering and DO IT ALREADY.
That is advice I need to hear. I’m only realizing right now how much I need to hear, “Stop waffling!” I, like Susannah, am a jack of many trades. I have a quick mind and know just enough to dig myself holes to trip over. Specifically, I have dug marketing holes. I am terrible at telling people what I’m good at/what I can do for them. Because truth is, I can Google and Youtube around enough to work my through almost anything. But let me tell you, employers do not want to hear that.
“No” has been one of the best things for me to hear over the past few months – you know – after I stop crying in the car in my driveway. I have learned what I’m bad at, what doesn’t sell, what gets you passed over, and how not to interview. All truly valuable skills.
Most recently, I participated in a conference at the local university where Hannah Gamble – a quirky, lively poet – read my poetry and met with me about it. She was kind about my first two poems and then said, “Everything I don’t like about your poetry is in this third poem.” And she had marked almost the entire poem in red, i.e. this part sucks. And that was the best feedback I have received on my writing in years. Peers have fawned over my poems because they’re about love and existential crises. But no one has told me what parts suck. And inevitably, some parts are going to suck.
So how do you deal with rejection? I’ll give you some of the best advice I ever received, incidentally, from the worst boyfriend I ever had. I walked in weepy after work because someone had been mean to me. I began to tell him about the horrible people who worked at the restaurant and he interrupted me mid-sentence to say, “Are you going to do anything about it? No? Then, I don’t want to hear about it.”
”Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein