How to Compost Rejection


Dear SweetArts, 

Have you seen all those fabulous creative-geniuses walking around? The ones who are brilliant singers, actors, dancers, writers, painters…the ones who have a bit of celebrity and a solid body of artwork, who live seemingly kissed by the Creative Spirit on a daily basis?

 Well, they have faced rejection. Lots of it. Had the gate shut on their faces.   

 JK Rowling couldn’t find a publisher for Harry Potter in her home country. Oprah was told she’d never make it in TV, and Meryl Streep was rejected from her first audition for being too ugly.
Good thing they didn’t roll over and say, well… I guess I’m not meant to be creative.
Oh, gosh, no.
JK sent a letter to Scholastic Publisher in the U.S. imploring them to read her manuscript.
Oprah… well, you know Oprah, she is a mighty force of love to be reckoned with.
And as for Meryl Streep, well she pretty much told the director that he was only one opinion in a sea of thousands and that she was off, “to find a kinder tide.” (Such a cool and poetic way to tell that blind director off, no?)

 So how about you?
 How do you cope with rejection and criticism?

I hope you’re not afraid of staying the course. I hope you don’t let criticism and rejection hurt your lovely spirit in any way.
This past week I had some art-criticism hurled at me. I know my work is exuberant and colorful and little wild at times, and here in New England my artwork can seem like, well. a bit much.  Oh, I’ve tried to tone it down but it just doesn’t work. So, I’m stuck here in joy… painting with wild abandon and well, what can I say?

So, here’s what I do when I come across rejection.

I say to myself, “It takes manure to make the flowers grow.” And I go on my merry way. 
Because I know that the criticism is just one opinion in a sea of millions.

Let’s face it. Not everyone will like our work. I know, I know... not fair… right?
But here’s the way I see it.

Criticism is like manure, you have to process it first, but with a little time it has the potential to become richly composted fertilizer to spread evenly over your creativity so your work can blossom.

It’s all in how we process rejection.
I know from gardening, if you use fresh manure directly on your plants, they’ll die. Ouch!

But add some other organic material to the manure ( i.e. perspective to the criticism) and give it a little time and that manure turns into rich, glorious, life-giving compost.

 Your work will blossom, not because of the rejection, but rather because of the WAY you creatively PROCESSED it. 
 Cool huh? It takes creativity to turn rejection into beautiful blossoms.

You see, manure is everywhere (oh, don’t we know it) and it’s our job as creatives to make it into rich, composted fertilizer. So, go ahead, welcome that manure, and add your own wisdom to that pile-of-potential and then let the blossoming begin!

With Love SweetArts,
Next week I’ll riff on the process I use to compost my piles-of potential. I’ll get right down to the nitty-gritty of it and show you how I work to keep things in perspective, until then…continue along your awesome way.
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The garden photos are from our garden last year. Of course, we have big plans for this year's gardens as we're turning our compost piles to get them activated again in the warmth. See where I get my inspiration?