Rejections are a constant and inevitable consequence of life in the arts. Rejections can sting. Some worse than others. They come in the mail, email, phone calls, or—worst of all—silence. Rejections are frequent. They can humiliate and make you feel worthless as an artist. I’d prefer not to see them.
So, why a rejection list?
In a world of social media where we can edit our lives in such a way that it seems that all we do is succeed, I discovered that it can lead others to become discouraged, or even despair at the state of their artistic progress. I can’t begin to count how many times friends and colleagues have said in one way or another, “So-and-so is getting such great news and all I get are rejections.”
To me, that’s heartbreaking.
I remember when I worked in fundraising one of my supervisors told me that of about 100 people we ask to donate, between five and ten are predisposed to say yes. A good caller can get between ten and fifteen people to say yes. A great caller can get between fifteen and twenty people to donate.
That always stuck with me. It means even the best of the best have something akin to an 80% rate of failure.
I don’t know…I find that comforting.
No acceptance comes without a bunch of rejections.
Here are mine.