I got to play a show on Saturday night in Chicago. It was a small but warm crowd, and I decided to play several of the new songs that I wrote in Colorado. I felt so happy. I felt alive. I felt like myself again.
After the show, I asked a friend in the audience what she thought of the new songs. She said, "Honestly? I couldn't relate to them. They made me sad that you don't live in Chicago anymore. I like the old stuff better..."
And just like that, I felt torn apart. I felt embarrassed. I even felt a bit of shame.
I was wallowing in self-loathing while I drove home. After about 30 minutes, I did a little self-assessment. Was I really letting one comment change my feelings about my entire experience? Am I walking around completely at the whim over every person who offers a critique? Could I really be that much of a pansy?
Well for 30 minutes, apparently I was. But that was enough of that.
Reader, when it comes to criticism, we can either allow it to wound us, or we can learn to take the hit without being hurt by it (I guess we could also fight back, but I'm not much for sucker-punching my old pals). Anyway, as you're dealt blows this week, remember it doesn't have to hurt you. You can absorb it, and then get along with your day. Learn, move on, and keep at it.
With that, this resilient writer is off to write more un-relatable tunes to everyone but herself. I'll see you next Monday. -Em