I have a special ring tone I’ve set up on my phone just for agent responses. I used to get so excited when it chimed. Now I cringe; time to read the latest rejection letter. Authors spend a lot of time thinking about rejection (unless you’re the Stephanie Meyer instant success type.) Why, you ask, would one ponder such a joyless thought? Because we are artists. Honestly, it took a very long time just to be able to call myself that. For years I thought that just because I enjoyed creating art didn’t really make me an artist. Well, it does and it doesn’t. Let me explain.
The sad fact, especially today, is that anyone can do what you do. There are apps that can teach you how to sing, you tube videos that teach you how to paint and a wealth of information online about how to be a good writer. Heck, I learned to play the guitar off of YouTube and now I’m in a band!
It’s kind of a defeating if you think about it but don’t let this put a dimmer on your disco just yet. Here’s what DOES set you apart from the rest: you’re level of passion for whatever you do. This is the reason why not everyone excels when they write, paint, sing or play even though they are capable – they can, they just don’t love it enough to do it. You have to be IN LOVE with your art form. It’s those who take the time to hone their craft and see it to maturity that become the memorable ones of their time.
So, back to rejection. What does this have to do with you being an artist? You’ll never except that you are one until you learn to be rejected. Sounds upside down right? The truth is, until you are able to put yourself out there and accept that not everyone will love what you love and that not everyone will understand what you create then you will never mature as an artist. Isn’t that what makes things memorable anyway? Not everyone loves my spouse the way I do but that doesn’t devalue our passion.
So, how do you become a true reject/artist? You show your stuff. That’s right, if you write send out a query, if you paint, set up a gallery showing, if you sing, write someone a song. I know your toes are curling right now. What if they don’t like it? What if they hate it!? Then they don’t understand it. They don’t understand the joy it brings you to create and that’s okay. Someone out there does. Oh good gosh, please tell me someone out there does!