Rejection

I know that many successful writers and other kinds of professions often get many rejections before someone takes a chance and believes in them. I also remember that there was some guy (Jia Jiang) that went out of his way to get rejected every day for 100 days to get over his fear of rejection. Brilliant, right? He wrote a book about it. I just watched his TED talk.

So I think it’s partly what he says, he just tried hard to make unreasonable requests or weird and unusual requests and then he recorded what happened on video. He wasn’t actually rejected every time, some people gave him what he asked for. For him, it sounds like he learned a lot about himself, and was able to not just start running as soon as someone said “no.”

I submitted my first work to a competition when I was still a student. It wasn’t a great piece of work, and I wrote it for the competition under a time crunch. I didn’t win, and I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. But I didn’t really look for any other competitions for many years. It was just a few months ago, after I had started working on the symphony, and I got word of a competition that was especially for female composers of symphonic music, that I started to write the last movement to suit the parameters of the competition.

I started keeping an eye out for other competitions, and it kept me to deadlines. Just keep writing, a little bit every day, and make sure it’s done by the deadline. The second competition I submitted to this fall (third in total) was a new song I wrote. I blogged about the journey. I didn’t know what I was doing at first, but I didn’t give up. Just one step at a time.

So today when I got word that I didn’t win the second composition competition I ever entered, I shouldn’t get too discouraged. I remember learning about the philosophies of Eastern religions, and the striving for nirvana, which has to do with a quietness, a freedom from the bonds of this earth. I like to think of it as letting go of the desire for quick success, which is attained by those who are able to not get sucked into the abyss of disappointment that is so easy to fall into when faced with rejection.

And I wrote some more lines on my string quartet today.

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