Rejection is just part of it. You cannot please everyone. Write for yourself first.
Not everyone has to like you.
All very true but slightly brutal platitudes that are a part of life as an artist. It is really hard to brush them aside and just create when you are so worried about assigning a value to your work, accepting money for your work or creating something that someone else will want to pay for. Better yet will it ever be enough to expect it to support you?
In Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert she said she never wanted to put the pressure on her creativity to be the breadwinner and I can completely respect her commitment to that ideal. She viewed her creative life to be a mystical, sacred thing, like the equivalent of a snail requiring protection and love to come out of its shell. However when you need to win some bread your sacred snail can become escargot.
About a year ago I was preparing to abandon my search for a publisher and change gears to search for a Literary Agent. Changing from writing query letters and submissions for publishers to letters to agents was not so tough. It was trying to inspire the motivation to do something new and restart the whole process.
I can’t remember but I think #rejection100 was suggested to me by an author I had a coaching call with. The purpose behind it was to reframe rejection as a natural and desirable phase of creation. It is akin to not believing in failure because each attempt is a pathway to your goal. So, if this is true then in theory rejections are a good thing.
Not just for the feedback but because if getting more rejections naturally leads you to success then why not celebrate them along the way? What if you had a goal of collecting one hundred of them and being excited as to where it might lead? I subscribed to that theory in spades. After all I got some fantastic feedback from publishers so why not expect the same thing? So I started on my mission to collect rejection and I am so glad I did!
I think at last count with all of my query letter writing I must have only been at around five! I may not have accomplished much failure but boy I had fun doing it, especially when it led to some amazing feedback and success! I need to get excited about rejection again. To play the game of knowing it is in the cards so I may as well have a good time with it. It means I have to be active, to create towards the purpose of just creating, even if it’s at a snail’s pace.
Follow me here on Instagram at @brave.creative.me to see my creative journey.