“Oh, those grapes up there must be sour,” says the fox.”
There are composers, both young and old, who act like the fox in Aesop’s fable who struggle and fail at reaching their goals and then despise what they could not achieve.
While the fox may temporarily feel better through this odd justification, it actually harms him in several ways.
1. Lack of accountability. The fox does not see his own role in not reaching his goals.
2. Defeatism. The excuse of not being able to win anyway.
3. Distraction from making changes. Instead of finding alternative paths to reaching what one wants, the focus becomes resentments.
4. Lack of self-awareness. It is hard to make changes within one’s self if one can’t see themselves clearly.
5. Unattractiveness. Those who keep sharing their tales of sour grapes push others away. Sour grape calling is a fairly transparent and unappealing act to everyone other than the one doing it. It reflects quite poorly on them and goes against the energy needed to attain one’s goals.
Whenever anyone asks me why so-so composer (often a brilliantly talented one) didn’t make it or has fallen from high, I almost always reply, “Have you met him/her?”
Unattractive character traits, such as curmudgeonly trashing or dismissing others’ successes are often the Achilles heel that contribute to the failings of many composers.