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!

REJECTION

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!

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When Life Gets In The Way…

Today, I wanted to take a hot second to talk about the reality of stifled creativity.

Do you regularly feed the monster within? When you don’t, does it rear its ugly head? Or is it patient and graceful?

So many creative types have day jobs, families, obligations, commitments, etc. which keep us from expressing our urges when they strike. For instance, my studio is currently bedroom to two girls.

So what do you do when life gets in the way of your creative expression? Do you become depressed? Do you push through? Do you settle? Are you more apt to seize what little time might be allowed you? Do you throw up your arms in despair? Do you say, “I WILL create anyway!” ignoring the chains that bind?

QuestionMark

Honoring our creative voice is difficult in the best of times. We are BRAVE souls, taking leaps of faith, pursuing our calling. Few of us escape challenges along the way.

I, personally, become more stressed and grouchy (to put it mildly) when I refrain from creating on any level, for any reason. I know this truth to be as real as the keyboard on which I’m typing, and yet, I seem surprised each time the pattern exposes my folly. It is the universal mistake I make again and again, the lesson never seeming to stick.

So I ask you, my peers, my creative brethren… What do YOU do when LIFE gets in the way? All comments and contributions are most welcome and encouraged!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!