Disappointment is a part of life, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck. As creatives, we put our hearts on the line everytime we show someone our work. Then the risk and vulnerability increases with each person who sees it, level it gets to in a competition, or progress it makes towards production or accolade. I’ve posted about disappointment and rejection before, but its like the cat that keeps coming back. And the closer you get to success, the harder the fall becomes. It can be easy to give up, especially when it feels like years of hard work is now completely useless.
I have a handful of links that I could put here with advice for screenwriters, actors, artists, singers, or any creative dealing with rejection. But they all say more or less the same thing:
Don’t take it personally, learn from your mistakes, keep trying, don’t give up.
Solid, legit advice. But how do you not take something so personal, personally? How do you know the RIGHT lessons to learn from your mistakes? How do you decide to move onto another idea instead of rewriting the same one for the 20th time? I certainly don’t have the answers, and I’m afraid that there isn’t a one size fits all solution. But I do know rejection and disappointment suck. But what sucks more is never knowing how far you could get.
So even though it’s crushing, even though it feels like the end of the world, don’t let that “Unfortunately…” or “I’m sorry but…” define you. Don’t let it stop you. Get back on the horse. Allow yourself to grieve, or mourn, or wallow, but then stop it. And then get back up faster every time until it’s no longer a fall, it’s a cool jump move. We’re in this together, right?
Please share any tips or tricks you’ve found to help when things don’t go your way, I’m sure we’d all appreciate it.