Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dealing with Rejection

This morning I woke up with rejection on my mind.  As an artist and writer this is one of the most difficult things to deal with yet it is inevitable.  Why is it inevitable?  Well, if you are putting yourself out there, to multiple markets, groups, curators, publishers, whatever, you are bound to bump up with those who do not “get” your work.  For short periods of time, sometimes admittedly longer, I find rejection debilitating.  This happens when I lose objectivity.   This morning, for some reason or another, rejections I have encountered over the last couple of weeks ballooned in my mind and made me feel empty and hopeless. Then as I was driving to get gas I started to deconstruct those negative feelings.  Being rejected is not a reflection on a person it is a reflection of various people.  The thoughts of others about your creativity, is only that, thoughts and thoughts are not facts.  I ran into that particular quote for the first time on Twitter and it really resonates, especially on a day that began gray like today.  At first a rejection letter can feel like a cold slap in the face but it can also be provocative.  Rejections can be flipped away from you and your creativity and can be a statement by the person or people who have not accepted your work.  You can begin to wonder…what is their taste, their stance, their take, their need or motivation? You can reflect back on the work you selected for a particular outlet or group.  Did it really fit? Was it the best choice for that particular venue? Was it your best effort?  If you know you did your best and feel confident in your statement there is only one thing to do—more work.  Either work on submitting to more places or go back to the drawing board and strengthen your statement.  My book, “A Healing Grove” was rejected several times before it became a published book.  It continued to transform, grow and develop through its critiques and eventually it found a home with the right publisher, and it was a big step for me to go with another publisher.  My book, “Sticks, Stones, Roots and Bones,” also originally had a different title and direction.  The older rendition was also rejected by several publishers of varying sizes.  I never lost faith in that book and eventually it found the right home.  I refused to give up because I had a strong vision.  As I work to re-launch my art career, I am again encountering rejections of various types.  Rather than letting it get me down, I am going to my artistic inspirations and back to the studio, even though the studio is in a state of renovation.   I am going to start drafting and compiling ideas that expand on those that have been rejected. I believe strongly in my vision and also in the idea, if at first you don’t succeed… I will keep trying and trying and trying until I met my goals and my work is situated how and where I want it to be.

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