The Secret To Embracing Artistic Rejection

You cannot let the ones who don’t see your vision dictate your dreams.

Megan Minutillo
Nov 18 · 3 min read
Photo by Camille Orgel on Unsplash

I had six pieces rejected from publications yesterday.

I had three pieces accepted today.

I’ve had a tremendous amount “thanks but no thanks” emails from publishers, and theaters, and people who pull strings and help creators get their work seen. You know the type of email I’m talking about — the one where they tell you that they’ve appreciated you sending in your submission, or your work, or your idea. Still, they’ve just had so many gifted and talented people throwing things in this year, and they cannot choose them all, and unfortunately, your work did not make the cut.

It’s frustrating to read those emails.

It’s frustrating to read those letters.

It’s frustrating to send something into a magazine or online publication — never to hear from them again, wondering what was wrong with your work, or why it wasn’t the right piece.

It’s frustrating, and it’s downright depressing, too.

But if you’re an artist, if you’re a creative type — whether that be a writer, author, journalist, composer, lyricist, playwright, or a screenwriter, or a photographer, visual artist, director, or a dancer, actor, singer, or a speaker, or a filmmaker, if you create — you must keep going.

You must keep creating.

You cannot let the ones who don’t see your vision dictate your dreams.

You cannot let the ones who say “no” define your road to “yes.”

There will be people who don’t like your art. There will be people that don’t understand it. There will be people who think that it’s not worthy, or not valuable, or amateur, or silly. There will be people who question your right to create and tell the stories that you want to say.

Keep creating, anyway.

Sometimes the work that you make will fall upon ears that refuse to hear and eyes that refuse to see. Sometimes the work that you create will fall upon hearts that so tightly locked that cracking them open will seem to be an impossible feat.

Keep creating, anyway.

The artistic life is not an easy one, and the road to creative success looks different for every artist. The road is paved with disappointment, and rejection, and even more frustration and rejection. But then one day, your path will come to a clearing — and suddenly, you’ll realize that it’s all been worth it.

Maybe that moment will show you an audience who cheers you on and delights in your work. Perhaps that moment will show you a new direction to go with your art. Maybe that moment will bring you to another person who tells you that their life has been changed by your creativity. They’ll let you know that your work, your creation, and your dedication to your craft and the story that you have told have inspired them.

Or maybe it’ll be something else.

But one day, the road will not feel so daunting. One day you will come to a clearing, and there you’ll find the courage to create even more than you could’ve possibly dreamed. There you’ll see the audiences that will understand you, and see you, and love you.

The praise and adoration will feel lovely; this is true. But I hope you don’t let it dictate your art — I hope you keep creating, anyway.

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment.

Megan Minutillo

Written by

Storyteller for the soul. Read more at meganminutillo.com.

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment.

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