Been Rejected Lately

Has your art, music, book, dance, design, painting, voice or song ever been rejected? Once, twice, or a multitude of times? Then you're in good company!

Success is for those who persevere. Kathryn Stockett's The Help was turned down 60 times before becoming a best seller and now a hit movie!

Every creative must be prepared to hang in there for the long haul, expecting rejection and being strong enough to take it. And take it a multitude of times, without being devastated.

For some, even a hint of criticism is all it takes to throw them off course for months and even years.

For others, the ones who prepare for rejection may sulk for a bit, but before long they are up and off again, ready to prove to the ones who rejected them that they've missed out on a great opportunity. Like Kathryn Stockett. What if she had given up after 20 . . . 30 . . . 40 . . . or 50 rejections?

If success were easy, everyone would be successful. It's not easy but, success is possible for those who expect rejection and are prepared to take it, learn from it and course correct.

Success finds those who choose to stay the course for the long haul, the ups and downs and the "NOs."

"Rejected" doesn't stop me . . .  it just makes me push harder.

How about you? Are you prepared for "rejection?" Do you have a plan to push ahead even when the answer is no? If not . . . write yourself a "pep talk" letter - the one you will read after each rejection.

Auntie Mame, Patrick Dennis  - 15 rejections
Chicken Soup for the Soul, Jack Canfeld and Mark Victor Hansen - 140 rejections
Diary of Anne Frank - 16 rejections
Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell - 38 rejections
Harry Potter, Book One, J. K. Rowling - 9 rejections
Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach - 18 rejections
The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot - 17 rejections
Watership Down, Richard Adams - 26 rejections
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle - 26 rejections

The beautiful LadyAntebellum lead singer auditioned not once, but twice for "American Idol," and never even made it past the preliminary rounds, never even sang for Simon Cowell, Randy or Paula. She won five Grammys this year, including Record an Song Of The Year. No Idol has ever done that!

Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because, "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas." After that, Disney started a number of businesses that didn't last long and ended in bankruptcy.  He didn't give up though. He eventually found his path to success and all who enjoy Disney World today are thankful, because he kept moving forward in the face of rejection.

Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his entire lifetime and, if I recall, there was someone somewhere who told him to "just quit".

So what about you? Have you been discouraged by rejection? How about turning that discouragement into determination? Give yourself that pep talk, dust yourself off and try again.

Share your rejection story below and I'll encourage you. Together we can push though the disappointments until we find our breakthrough.


  1. Thank you Deby, That is just what I needed to hear. It gives me hope and power to work through challenges. Yay!

  2. Good for you Billie. I believe that you can and you will succeed! Keep on dear friend!

  3. This is a great reminder! As I've gotten older, I have definitely become more indifferent to criticism, especially to random, unsolicited criticism. Don't quit is something I say to myself regularly! : )

  4. Just recently got turned down to exhibit in a new eatery/shoppe in town. I was rejected but I take it in stride. The lady had a good reason - she takes photographs too, and didn't want to compete with me :D I know that every rejection leads me to my new success!

  5. My last dentist visit some months, ago, I was telling Randy about the most recent happenings in my image work, the updates. He said, 'you really are serious about, this~' after I'd mentioned your recommendation, Deby! And now, my next visit in November, I'll get to share of my own website! A new site in the United Kingdom, also! The Blessing is happening and my aggressive faith stays released in these troubled times! Aggressive faith, must remain a constant! I'm thriving, not just surving; flurishing, exceling in the household of faith, in Jesus Name!Jan

  6. @RavenAge does help ease rejection somehow. I think we finally get over ourselves and come to the realization that everybody doesn't have to like what we do. We only need one yes!

  7. @Deborah EatonLet that rejection fuel your fire! There is a 'yes' out there waiting for you somewhere! I just know it.

  8. @Jan DeWese It's great to hear that you are thriving and not just surviving. And I'm proud of your progress. Stay the course and eventually the reward will come.

  9. Deby, good post and very true. The most recent rejection I've had was hard to take and did all but stop me completely for over a month..I've just recently picked up my paintbrush again...and plan to continue...and not let criticism discourage me from setting and achieving my goals. :)

  10. @Mary Moore So proud of you, Mary! Put that chin up and paint, paint, paint!
    Prove that critic WRONG! I believe in you and your art!!