“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 and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, 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 he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
My brother was an incredibly talented man and never knew it. He was an amazing writer. Wrote VERY much like Rod Serling. And, he was a prolific writer. An idea one minute, and a complete story the next.
One day, in a particularly courageous moment, he decided to send what was my favorite out to a publisher. In short time he received a rejection. When I asked him about it, he simply said, “They don’t like my writing.” End of story, end of writing career. Not one more word on paper.
He accepted only defeat and on the word of just one person. My heart broke for him, because he was a brilliant writer and had only to keep the courage, await the victory, stand firm in the knowledge that his was a worthy cause.
How many others give up with the first rejection and remain cold and timid souls instead of jumping into the arena and fighting to victory? Sadly, there are those who will never even know the triumph of at least trying. Of giving their all in the face of criticism.
Most of us can tell those who do, however. You stand tall, your face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood of determination as you hold your first contract in your hand.