“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ~Theodore Roosevelt
As a writer and an artist, I get rejected every day in one form or another because that’s what happens when you put your work out into the world every day. Critics are everywhere. I am still inspired to keep going because I create the work I want to read. I write the stories I most wanted to believe in, and that belief is a shield and a sword against any rejection. All artists in every medium need that belief.
If you’re struggling now to get your work out into the world or dealing with rejection on any level, keep these words from Theodore Roosevelt close to your heart. They help me keep my head up and my fingers tapping on the keys.