Arthur Miller wrote some of the most famous and critically acclaimed plays of the 20th century, such as The Crucible, All My Sons and Death Of A Salesman. But in his mid 20s he struggled with the insecurity that comes from having one’s work rejected time and again.
In Arthur Miller: His Life And Work, Miller’s biographer Martin Gottfried wrote, “Beaten down by rejection, writing play after play without seeing any of them produced, performed or realized, he poured out a lament in the form of ‘a writer’s speech to himself’ — ten single-spaced pages of futility and defeat …
‘I can’t write again feeling with every word that I’m writing for the dresser drawer … I fear that I will never be able to write for the theater … Isn’t part of the heat, the inspiration or rather, doesn’t part of it come out of the fiery vision that one day living people will laugh and cry at these words I write? How long can one shout and cry and roar laughing into a writing machine before the shouting and laughing become pantomime?’ “
Felt that way? We all do, even after having initial success and a string of successes, because no amount of praise or acclaim is ever enough. The Nobody doesn’t want to be a Nobody, the One Hit Wonder doesn’t want to be labeled a One Hit Wonder and the Has-Been Legend can’t live with the thought of being considered a Has-Been Legend. So here are three takeaways for all the Nobodys, One Hit Wonders, Has Been Legends and everyone in between:
- You are not alone. Every creative person struggles with feelings of inadequacy, and all must deal with the dangerous emotions that rejection can arouse: jealousy, envy, self-pity.
- You are not your Art. God loves you as you are, and sent his only Son to die in your place so you could spend eternity enjoying Him and the wonders of His creation.
- If you are in Christ, then nothing you offer to Him as worship is “written for the dresser drawer.” If no one else in this world ever sees, hears, sings, touches or tastes of your creative work, that is nothing compared to the privilege of offering your work to Him. He enjoys your worship. And because you’ve been redeemed by His blood, your offerings to Him are like the sweetest incense and the costliest pearl.
Thank you for reading our post. You can download our 4-song worship album “The Whole Big Story” for free in the top-right sidebar of this website. We’ve also heard from many churches who have enjoyed leading these songs in worship services. If you’d like to do so, download free chord sheets from the “Gilles Music” tab at the top of this page. And you can subscribe to this blog for free by clicking the RSS icon or signing up via email in the right-hand sidebar.
– Bobby & Kristen
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