As a musician and a writer, I have dealt with a lot of rejection over a course of time. From labels rejecting my music, to articles being rejected because of valid reasons or even small things such as hearing, “I don’t like this,” these reasons make us overthink everything that we’ve ever done. Whether it may be thoughts such as “I’m not good enough” or “I should quit,” the afterthoughts to being rejected always seem to be harmful to our own mindsets as creative people.
Having to deal with people rejecting your music, your art or your writing may deeply affect you (as a creative person) using that kind of outlet to inform people, to express yourself or simply using it to show the world that you love it. Sometimes, you even reject your own ideas since pessimistic thoughts have taken over the way you’ve tried to produce something in relation to the art you’re doing and it’s never easy to get over them. As a young person, it seems as if that once you’ve gotten rejected from somewhere, it automatically makes you feel uninspired and discouraged from the form of art that you love to make.
Rejection is one of the most difficult things any person will experience; the main aspect of it is, you can either use it to pull yourself up or bring yourself down to the point where you completely let it take over your mind. It is inevitable that any creative person doing some form of art or pursuing a form of art as a career will face rejection at some point in their lives; we just have to learn how to deal with it properly and use it to channel our passion. Using Beyoncé’s story as inspiration, from a young age, she and her then girl group, Girl’s Tyme, failed to win the Star Search competition. Of course, this didn’t stop them at all; in fact, they used this to become more motivated towards their goals, a lesson all young creatives should try to follow every time they are faced with rejection.
Being part of the creative community, I have managed to make connections with young people who battle with rejection as a part of their daily routine of trying to make it in their own respected industries. I’ve managed to contact a few to ask for their advice for other young creatives like themselves, on dealing with rejection.
Keaton Dekker‘s, a 17-year-old musician from East London, advice for young musicians like himself is:
Of course it’s hard when you get rejected or receive a negative opinion on something you’ve put so much of yourself into. But just knowing that you’re good at what you do, definitely allows me to keep on working harder on my songs. And although I critique myself way too much too, I know that I’m meant to be doing this and I think that’s what stays at the back of my mind 24/7. This sense of almost belonging to music.
One of my friends, CJ Calanday, has been an artist her whole life. Her advice on dealing with rejection as a young creative person states:
Rejection is difficult as an artist, and especially a young one trying to find your style. What I’ve always tried to do is take constructive criticism and use it to better myself as an artist; I use rejection to push myself further and refine my work. But remember, art is subjective – so not everyone is gonna like your work. What’s important is that you make art that you are proud of and pour your heart into it.
Augusta Battoclette‘s, a fellow writer for Affinity Magazine, advice for young writers is:
Don’t ever give up! Just because you get rejected once doesn’t mean you will get rejected every other time. Not every person you send your work to will understand your vision and your interpretation, and that’s perfectly alright! I would rather been rejected 20 times then find one person willing to give me a chance than settle with the first rejection.
On a final note, it is important to remember that we are our biggest critics, and it is certainly too easy to compare yourself to others and everyone around you. It is also important to never lose hope in your art when faced with rejection; use all of that emotion to create something that you love – let it fuel your passion.
It is not arrogant to be proud of your abilities.