He eyed my pearly whites. "So what do you think about a crown?"
My eyes crossed. "Whoa, Nellie! I've got a little problem here. My last dentist gave me five shots of Novacaine, but they didn't work. I get migraines, so unless pain is severe, it doesn't register. He almost sent me through the ceiling when he began drilling. I haven't been to a dentist in three years."
He reassured me the Novacaine failure was probably a fluke. I chewed my lower lip, wondering if I should believe him. After discussing my options, I agreed to the crown.
I held my breath as he administered the Novacaine, praying it would take this time. Several of my friends, who knew about my unhappy experience with the last dentist, were interceding for me. God answered our prayers, and the visit ended on a positive note.
I'm happy. My tooth is happy. My trust in dentists has been restored.
So, what's the moral to this story? (You KNEW there would be one.) Agents, editors, and authors are people. We all have off days, get tired, and don't always realize how our words affect the person sitting across the table. Let's cut each other a break, chalk the rough experiences up to a misunderstanding or miscommunication, and move on. Most of all, don't let it stop you from improving your craft and pursuing your dream.
Have you ever felt like you wanted to quit submitting your work? Do you have any encouraging words for overcoming past disappointment and moving on to success?