The R Word

If you’re like me, you are all too familiar with the word to which I am referring.

Scenario: You work for weeks on that one piece of art, that one piece of fiction… You take care to tweak it until it shines in its best possible light. You research your options and choose the best place to submit your work. You gather up the nerve to send it off into the world and then you wait… Time passes, as you work on other things and one day, seemingly out of the blue, you get word. Excitement builds. Did they like it? Do they want to excercise their option to take it? (Oh, please! Oh, please!) You open the email and begin reading… “Thank you for the opportunity to consider your work, but we find that it doesn’t suit our needs at this time.” Ugh!


This wasn’t what I set out to write about today. Finding a similar response in my inbox this morning threw me off and this is the result.

Blindsided by rejection (despite the fact that it is as familiar to me as my own self) I tend to lose sight of everything else on the table. The negativity and self-doubt sneek in and paralyze me in that moment when I am trying to process all of the hard work I’ve done and reconcile it with the news. The pattern which ensues is usually a period of wallowing, lasting anywhere from days to months depending on my personal outlook at the time, followed by a period of intense creativity to prove to myself that I can overcome and beat the odds.

Let’s face it, to depend on one’s personal creative expression to earn a living is a full-scale gamble. It’s all relative. Not everyone is going to like X. X isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. There are too many variables. There is no magic formula. For the most part, we create what we know and love. That is the way it should be. Sometimes, we get lucky and find an individual, a publication, a gallery that appreciates what we have created. When that happens, the reward is greater than we could ever have imagined. The reality is that it doesn’t happen often. That speaks to the uniqueness of individuals around the globe. We are all different and it takes all our differences to make the world go ’round.

Sadly, knowing this isn’t always enough to save us from disappointment.

This morning, I have a question to put to you all. In the past, I have merely asked the question in hopes that folks would respond in the comment section of the post. That hasn’t worked so well. Today, I offer up a poll.

Thankful to have a current deadline to carry me through the day’s disappointment, I’m heading back into the studio to work, instead of wallow.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

8 thoughts on “The R Word

  1. I feel the stuning pain of the rejection for a minute or two then put it out of my mind. It just wasn’t the right place for me to be, magazine or show. I just got a phone call letting me know 2 of my photos got into a show. Followed by– they extended the entry deadline due to low interest in the theme. I’m in, but by default? Not going to think to much about it. I also just got back a rejected magazine submission. I think I know where I went wrong. We are due for a few “yeses” and “I love your works”. they are coming! Lets rock the Cranberry Twp show!

  2. I always believe that some people resonate with what you are doing and some do not. Keep moving forward and putting out what you put out and it doesn’t matter in the end, what matters is the doing…sometimes you will get accepted, sometimes dumped on your kiester, as they say. We even do it to ourselves, so…….xox

  3. The first quote I have at my blog post on this subject ( has helped me through a few ‘declines’ as I call them. I view them as RSVPs now, a party that wasn’t meant to be for me. The worst scenario is that you didn’t try and would wonder what might have happened if you had submitted. It is not personal, just a matter of the right time and the right place… But then, Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail would counter with ‘it IS personal!’. No matter what, your audience is out there and you are meant to keep creating, and keep submitting. Have a pint of ice cream or a piece of chocolate or whatever soothes your soul, and then get back into the studio!

    • What a lovely comment! So full of encouragement!
      I couldn’t help but smile when I got to the part about Meg Ryan in You’ve got mail! I had an entire paragraph in the original blog post (before editing) which centered around rejection not being personal and I used her lines in that very scene to counter… “What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn’t personal to you. But it was personal to me. It’s *personal* to a lot of people. And what’s so wrong with being personal, anyway?”
      In the end, I removed that paragraph because it seemed too much like a rant and unnecessary to the whole.
      Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment!

  4. I’ve done the survey, but would just like to say that the important thing is to keep creating. Follow your heart, put your art out there, and then people’s responses (positive or negative) are up to them. At least your work is being seen and responded to. Also, it can take a while for your art to be ‘accepted’, but once it is, you’ve got your foot in the door, so keep that door open! =D

    • Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, Rita. On my best days, I agree wholeheartedly with all you said. On my worst days, those things are difficult to remember. That’s where wallowing has always come in for me. Inevitably, I remember my Truth and return to my love and my art. Again, thanks for reaching out. 🙂

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