When you work in advertising as a creative person, you discover very quickly the need to develop a thick skin. Everyone and their dog has an opinion on your writing and oftentimes those opinions aren't what you want to hear. So you learn to bury your ideas without mourning them. There will always be another one and it wasn't personal when your creative director told you that last one sucked.
At my last job, we literally had a sign in our conference room—where campaign concepts were often generated and reviewed—that said this:
My comical cohorts had a little paper table tent with "Doron" written across it, so if you suggested something really stupid, you had to sit with that in front of you like a name tag until the next moronic idea was presented.
It was sort of like being in a frat.
As you might imagine, I got really good at taking teasing and idea-squashing in stride.
But I'm beginning to think that being out of the workplace for 3 months now has completely thinned my skin. In the last few weeks, there's a level of sensitivity plaguing me that hasn't been around since maybe the junior high locker room.
One innocuous comment from Mr. Wonderful can turn me into a weepball who is convinced her muffin top and inability to shower before noon is making him find her thoroughly unattractive. One well-written blog post (like this one) sends me into a spiral of self doubt about my abilities as a writer. Cat litter pebbles on the rug leave me thinking I'm a terrible housekeeper who fritters away her days being utterly unproductive. Never mind that I'm working out almost every day, writing and exploring new creative avenues with friends and probably keeping the house cleaner than I ever did when I had a job.
None of that matters because my thin skin is continuously sending me signals that I'm an out-of-shape, hack writer, terrible wife.
And no, I'm not pregnant nor have I had PMS for the last month.
So I'm left wondering: will my rhino hide only return if I go back to a 9-to-5 job? Or am I in some sort of emotional growth spurt that will soon enable me to handle all of this without the help of a critical creative director?
Or is this just what life is like for stay-at-home writers and tortured artists?
It gives my wimpy skin goosebumps to think about it.