There’s this song from the musical Working called “If I Could Have Been.” The first time I heard it, I laughed to myself a little because it’s so gloriously vague (“If I could’ve been what I could’ve been, I could’ve been somethin’.”), and all I could think was “That’s why you didn’t – you never had a specific plan or goal.” Harsh, yes, but true.
Even as I was enjoying the irony of the song, however, I was struck by the power of one line in particular:
“I never took no for an answer – it was tougher to fight all those ifs, ands, or buts.”
I think an artist of any kind has faced that struggle of being henpecked to death by other people’s doubts, ideas, and fears. In fact, I think it’s a common problem in any job. And in many ways, all those little attacks are much harder to deal with than a single “No.”
You see, no ends. The rest… not so much.