As I wait to hear the verdict for Suicide Station from Kindle Press, I am reminded of a topic I have taken to bed with me many a time over the years.
Part of the artist’s life is accepting rejection. We have to cope with it on every level and from every angle. As an actor, I stared down that beast every day of my professional career. Whether it was getting cast, working for the approval of a director, acceptance of peers, or the inevitable reviews…the idea of rejection turned my ego and confidence into an ouroboros set to devour itself from tail to head to tail and back again.
As a writer, it is no different…only the process is agonizingly prolonged with each project. From the very outset of writing a book, I must stand up to my own internal rejection or acceptance. Do my words stand up to my own criticism? I have become that writer, one who broods over every sentence to ensure it fits the scheme, scope, and style of the book and my voice. Then, will my beta readers, editor, and proofers accept the work? Once released, with the readers accept or reject?
It’s everywhere…at every stop and station. But it’s part of the gig and we embrace it so much so that accepting rejection and rejecting acceptance becomes an art within our art. In that mind-numbing dance between the negative and positive, we artists also have to learn to accept a life on the roller coaster.
It’s a grand ride, one I couldn’t imagine living without.
I’ve always taught my students that every rejection is an acceptance of growth and every acceptance is a rejection of stagnation. To live in stagnation is an acceptance of failure and failure, quite simply, is not an option.
You may be an artist, or know an artist (or two). You may also have always wondered why that inner turmoil, the battle between the heart and mind, never ceased. The answer to that enigma is as simple as it it complex.
Rejection and acceptance.
Once you understand where the war begins, you can finally know how to keep it at bay. You accept the idea that rejection is part and parcel to this game and you reject the idea that acceptance is the key to satisfaction.
It’s a convoluted mess, but that’s the human condition from the perspective of an artist. We are a complicated collaboration between heart, mind, and soul and the constructs we build to protect us only serve to pour chaos into the clarity.
Nothing is ever simple, is it?
It’s very easy to beat yourself up over a rejection. It’s also very easy to become complacent upon acceptance. Both are equally damning. Both can serve as a springboard for change. We live in an always on world, where acceptance or rejection defines the masses. Likes, votes, swipes, comments, comments, comments! It’s very easy for anyone to hide behind the mask of anonymity and take you down.
As if we need help with that.
Remember, we are artists…we know, better than you, how to take ourselves down.
What you should also know how best to do…is build yourself up. That must be seen as one of the truest keys to success.
I await the judgement from Amazon; but I know that regardless of the verdict, it will not make or break me. This same sentiment helps to guide me through the muddy waters of life…keeps me moving forward, always and forever forward.