I saw this post late last week and asked the author if I could repost it on my blog. He graciously agreed.
Bjorn Andreas Bull-Hansen ( https://bull-hansen.com ) s a Norwegian author and screenwriter of 16 epic novels, including The Tyr Trilogy and The Anubis Trilogy. Continuing a tradition forged centuries ago by his Viking ancestors, Bull-Hansen is a traditional Viking skald, sharing the history and mythology of Norse culture. Like skalds of old, Bull-Hansen conveys Viking culture – his culture – to the people of a new generation. I have been fascinated by some of his posts.
This one really resonated, probably because of all the times I’ve been told “You can’t do that.” I know you will enjoy it.
I often say that any fool can be a critic, but only a few, rare individuals have the talent and perseverance to become creative artists. Also, I am astonished by the fact that so many people believe that professional artists actually care about what those critics think. Let me tell you a secret: Many of us, me among them, don’t. And no, it’s not because we’re arrogant. It is simply because of that mechanism that you’ll find in any sensible creative artist of some experience: We learn to ignore negative feedback.
The most common sort of negative feedback is what I choose to call «loser branding». I have encountered this quite often up through the years and it goes far beyond my artistic and professional life. I believe loser branding is extremely widespread in Norway — far more than in other European countries. We even have a name for it: The Jante Law. Norwegian society loves the mediocre man or woman who experiences success, while the hard working and the genius are generally shunned. Loser branding is the way to deal with those who will not accept their place in the social hierarchy, and it’s all about telling you that whatever you’re trying to do, you won’t make it.
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