Wednesday, March 19, 2014

On Art, Rejection, and Humor. (The Story Girl Chronicles)

To be an artist is to be rejected.

It must be part of the "fun" if the artist is to survive. Rejection is not a bad thing. It's actually a necessary gauge to decipher how dedicated one is to their craft; a need for adulation is usually not enough to "make it."

Many young artists cry foul that they're having an impossible time "breaking in." But when I ask what they are doing to better themselves and their craft, I am almost always met with an awkward silence. No, they don't have enough time to read. Grandiose notions will never replace passion, talent, and perseverance.

First, you must love what you do so that others might as well.

Second, you must respect your art form.

Third, you must work. (And then work some more).

Not everyone is going to love your work. Everything is subject to subjective. But it is imperative that you put your best work out there. Respect yourself and your audience. People LOVE a good story because they love to reflect, to escape, and best of all, to be inspired.

If you don't love what you do, check your motives. And rest assured, the ego is no match for a spirit on fire.

In my latest novel, Story Girl, my lead character, Tracy, is struggling with rejection. Tracy is both emboldened by it and sometimes crushed. But she is never truly defeated, and that's because writing IS her nature. Tracy cannot separate herself from it; she and the craft are one.

If you genuinely appreciate the process—even the pitfalls and heartbreak—you are on the right track. Don't be defeated. Find the laughs—and the gratitude.

Gratitude is everything. Such is the key. Always.