Navel oranges, rhinos, elephants and coconuts…and writers.
We all have thick skin… and if you’ve only eaten the thinner skinned navel oranges, you’re missing a real treat. But that’s besides the point.
I”m currently in my second week of online college. I’m only taking one class to begin with, but it’s English. I mean, it’s easy, right? Umm… sort of. It’s physically easy. It’s writing, after all. Which is my God given gift. On the other hand, it’s essays. Which were my nemesis in high school. Seriously. I hated them. And I still hate them. Thankfully, my essays seem to be doing me good stead thus far. But we have discussions and fellow students evaluate the posted discussions. And that’s where the thick skin comes into play. Because, really, no matter what we write about, at the bottom of it all, writers bleed ink.
That’s right. Ink. Not blood. Blood would be easy. We’re in love with our words and any belittling of them wounds us to the core. It doesn’t matter if it’s an essay for an English class or a novel. We’ve done our best, given that draft to our beta reader, best friend, fellow students… and they don’t respond kindly, or, even worse, they don’t respond at all, and we’re left hanging, wondering if we’re just spinning our wheels in mud because we don’t know any better.
That’s when we have to put on our rhino skin and shrug it off. Not everyone will be interested in our words and creativity. I’m struggling through this exact situation. Someone I love dearly told me that, though my book holds no interest, it would be bought and read once I’m published. Not exactly the endorsement I wanted, but it’s the best this person can offer me. So the least I can do is accept it. That’s the theory, anyway.
I’m not perfect. Far from it. And I’ve learned, through progressive heartbreak, that sometimes people simply can’t read my words, no matter how much they might love me. And I simply need to let it go.
I have a skin on now, but it’s more like an avocado than a rhino. It’s there, but it’s still thinner than I’d like.
I’m working on it.