Last week I was honored to hear a keynote address given by the beautiful and talented Mary E. Pearson (The Adoration of Jenna Fox). During this address, she confessed that when she went to college, she became convinced that other than teaching, there was no practical use for an English degree. Instead, she got her degree in art. (Tee hee.)
Mary talked about the many things she learned as an art major, but they culminated into helping her see pictures and other works—such as books or stories—as a whole, rather than in the technical pieces. (You know, plot, character, setting, etc.)
Without going into detail about the different pieces of artwork or writing (or music or life) that make up the whole, I’ll just say her words struck me as true in many ways. She likened each book to a painting to explain in more simple terms the rejection process.
She said, “A book may not appeal to me personally, but that doesn’t detract from its contribution or value. It just means it doesn’t look good over my couch.” (I’m probably paraphrasing a bit—that might not be exact.)
For me, this way of thinking applied to so many different aspects of my life (and writing) journey. Like rejections and reviews. Opinions. Inclusion or exclusion from certain exclusive groups, clubs, or teams.
It doesn’t matter. Whatever our contribution to society and the world, it is not only beautiful, but valuable in innumerable ways.
Don’t you agree?
Whatever happens, don’t get discouraged. Regardless of where you are, you are making a contribution. And that alone is worth all your hard work.