In a Cadillac advertisement on the back page of the new edition of Esquire, we find this:
It is not the critic who counts: The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms; 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 fails while daring greatly.
It's an inspiring, shortened version of a famous statement by Theodore Roosevelt, worth representing in its entirety, because it's worthwhile to read and ponder the words again, and the additional thoughts and images that we all need to keep in view:
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, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; 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 fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
The Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote vividly about a boxer who was bruised and bloodied in the ring, knocked down, but not knocked out, as being the only one who could bring to the next contest the deep confidence that never comes until you've had your teeth rattled and had the breath pounded out of you and outlasted the onslaught. The challenges, bumps, and bruises of life are to be used by us to strengthen our souls, and they alone prepare us for becoming and being the best we're capable of being. So, when they come, use them well, and proudly.
In the end, it's not the critics, but the struggling creators, who prevail.