I just read this great article about making your rejections into something to celebrate. This post by Brett Elizabeth Jenkins is wrap up of a project to get 100 publication rejections in a calendar year for her writing. I love the attitude of the post, and you can read a bit more about how the project started here. The process of sending in your resume, filling out applications, polishing up and shipping out your portfolio for review is so similar for crafters, artists, and designers. The idea that with every rejection, you are still succeeding because you are trying your hardest is an amazing way to think about, well…life. I particularly like this paragraph:
“I cannot recommend this project enough. While I had a toe in the door of the lit mag world before I started this process, I really feel like I’ve discovered much more about it than I knew last August. I’ve grown as a writer, met some kickass writers, sprouted relationships with a few editors, developed a thicker skin, and learned to take rejection like a champ. For the calendar year, I’m sitting at somewhere around 130 rejections, and there are still six weeks left to get more! I played the game hard, as Blake would say, and while I don’t think there will ever be a Boss at the end that I can beat, I will continue to play hard, cheat codes be damned.”
Every single one of the BBB organizers is a crafter at heart. When we inherited this grand fair from the OG organizers, we were craft fair vendors wanting to be involved, wanting to help the Bazaar Bizarre the way it helped us. All of us are still working on our art and creating art and products to share; sending in our applications to be juried and judged. We feel the thrill of acceptance and the deflation of rejection on a regular basis. Since we have a part in organizing the BBB, it puts us in the position of having to be on the other end as well. Being part of the jury is the hardest part of being an organizer. We love that people put their care and creativity into their work. We love that people make anything and everything, and that we get to be part of helping people reach an audience for their work. We love that the BBB has 11 years of being part of the craft community, and how it has grown and changed and stayed amazing.
On a personal note, I have been on a hiatus from crafting to focus on just making fine art for the past few years. I haven’t gotten any show or gallery rejections, because, well, I haven’t been trying. This year I will aim higher, maybe I can rack up 25 rejections, and make them count.