While waiting for the seasonal vaccine, wash your hands frequently!
Disappointments are unavoidable in life. Better to prepare for it.
The first step of the professional disappointment ladder is classic, impersonal: like a negative response to a grant application.
The second disappointment degree is more intense as you suspect (rightly or wrongly) dishonesty or malice under the final choice.
The third degree is when your proposal is refused by people or artists you know and respect, and who also know you. That hurts!
The fourth level is when you learn through the media that the super-high-profile project organized by colleagues who never returned your calls /emails, will go forward … without you. Here, the long silence prepares the final shock.
The 4th degree, as described, has happened early in my budding career. Its impact was devastating. Doubt entered my life as an artist. I never found the same confidence in my art, my abilities since then. I became invisible in my peers’ eye.
It took decades and a new generation of artists/creators to get rid of my impostor syndrome. Drawing this comic, baring my soul was most difficult.
My suggestions to manage your professional disappointment:
DO NOT respond or react before 24 hours have passed.
DO NOT name the organisation or express anger in public, nor share your bad experience and victim status on socia media. Accusing the agency of discrimination adds new problems: those feelling targeted will deny it anyway (not to mention the high trollin potential as soon as you mention the thing). And if the choice has been fair and perfectly innocent, you harm the organisation.
DO: all romping in private that feels good. Physical exercise, running, gardening, climbing up the curtains … help to evacuate the excess of energy. Afterwards, relax, read a good novel, savor chocolate or ice cream.
AND : work on the next project!
I found a constructive way to manage my disappointment this week: scripting this comic. The next day, instead of moping, I wrote two new complete science fiction short-stories (quite short). One was written in 20 minutes, edited, then sent as a submission in the next half hour.
Opening myself for a potential disappointment…
My pile is always growing. Here is a snapshot of the current pile. The yellow
paper-riddled book (under the Revue Planches) is The Algal Bowl, Overfertilisation of the World’s Freswaters and Estuaries, which I consult often. Plus a number of unopened magazines I suscribe to…
It’s a sad realisation that I will never have the time to read all the *good* books from my writers friends… So I must proceed to a triage. If the story can’t retain my attention in the first 20 pages, I stop. If I don’t like the direction of a 800-page book, I quit.
It’s always difficult to tell a writer friend I won’t read her-his book. Most of them understand. I taste a lot of different novels, even the 1100-page Donna Tartt bestseller received as a gift…
This is what usually happens to my inspiration when I take too long getting ready…
But don’t let this stop you from creating!
My perfect holiday on a hammock with books and time!
Note the birdhouse in the fir tree. My 15×70 binoculars wait on the ground besides the books. I have written very little (my 18th novel still awaits its conclusion), but I indulged in a reading feast! The Northern Ontario spoiled us: starry night, shooting stars, northern lights…
I have a hard time drawing trees , so drawing this illustration took the same amount of time as a full comic page! I made a first sketch of the hammock in pencil, then for certain, I took a photo of the tree in question (but not with the same angle, aaah!)
The books I read (I will leave them in the rented cottage as an informal exchange system):
Carl Hiaasen – Paradise Screwed – A series of satirical articles written for the Miami Herald Times between 1985 and 2000. Hilarious but a little sad, when the natural side of Florida is gradually disappearing under the peak for developers.