When I was studying professional writing and editing we were all told that rejection is the experience of every author. It’s true, of course. And even when you are among the minority that get picked up you still won’t convince a lot of the critics that it was warranted.
The fact is that creative people live an existence that is essentially going from door to door until you find someone that won’t slam it in your face. Even then they’ll probably be some kind of sex pest that’ll only let you in so they can screw you. But eventually, if you’re really lucky, you meet just the right person that understands what you do and why. Then when you get really big from this work that nobody else would give the time of day, everyone wants a slice. There’s two types of creatives at that point: those that stick to their guns and those that chase the almighty dollar. It’s the difference between the Martin Scorseses and Michael Bays.
Vincent Van Gogh died as an impoverished madman who had only ever sold a handful of paintings during his life. Now a sketch by him is worth more than some houses. One of my favourite creative people is Jimi Hendrix, a man blessed with a musical soul and a wisdom beyond his years. An example of this wisdom comes in one of his most popular quotes, which appeared in an article in Melody Maker the year before he died:
“The thing is you have to be positive. You have to keep going until you have all the negatives out of your system.
It’s funny the way most people love the dead. Once you are dead you are made for life. You have to die before they think you are worth anything.”