Adam Savage's full talk, plus Q and A, from the recent Maker Faire in San Francisco is now online. The talk itself is relatively brief (around 15 minutes), but the following 45-or-so minutes of Q and A is really good - best of all it isn't just all Mythbusters-related questions.
If you can find an hour to watch/listen to the whole thing then do so - put it on in the background while you work if you need. However there was one question about 32 minutes in that really got me.
How do you keep inspired when people are denigrating your work?
After Adam left his mechanical giraffe podium - yes, that is what you imagine it is - to hug (presumably, it's off-screen) the question askee, then returned, this was his response.
That is an amazing question and I really appreciate … and you’re brave as hell for asking it in front of everybody.
You find your communities. You find your sangha. You find your people.
That may only be one, and it may be your mom. That was mine for a while.
You find that one person that appreciates what you do and tells you that its good. And listen to them.
Anybody that tells you that your work is… that’s denigrating your work, or denigrating the effort you’re putting into it, is an asshole.
If you’re around people who don’t recognise that the effort and the passion are worth something, (then) stay away from those people.
One might be the loneliest number, but the appreciation/interest/support/encouragement of one person could be all it takes to make a bad day good, and keep you moving forward. Trust me.