Yesterday I wrote a bunch of organ duet recital proposals for organ festivals in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and other European countries. One wrote back saying to remind them around Christmas when they know their budget for the next couple of years. This is a promising sign.
But most of them won’t even reply, I know this in advance. A couple of organizers wrote back saying that organ duets weren’t what they were looking for, that they are working with soloists. I tried to answer them with proposals for Ausra’s and my solo recitals but I knew deep down that it’s a polite way for them to give somebody a rejection. Otherwise they would have already suggested this option to me first.
So rejections don’t feel good, do they? You start doubting yourself, perhaps you’re doing something wrong, perhaps you’re not worthy of success. Sometimes you may even quit. I quit many times luckily to pick up after a while again.
In my creative life rejections are everyday thing. Just yesterday somebody canceled their Total Organist subscription. Total Organist is my membership course where people can get every course and training that I create.
So this cancellation means that either organ playing is no longer important enough to my students or they didn’t have enough time to practice or didn’t have enough money to pay me or no longer liked the program.
Sometimes they explain the situation to me when canceling, sometimes they don’t. Either way, any cancellation doesn’t feel good.
Rejections might happen in the form of silence, too. Blog posts that don’t resonate with people and they leave no feedback. Sometimes this happen too. I create a Pinky and Spiky comic strip, post it online and nobody notices it or doesn’t bother to say what they think.
There are more rejections happening in my other creative activities too. When people first visit my Secrets of Organ Playing blog, majority move on, they don’t spend on the site more than a few seconds. Only a part of them chooses to read a post or two, even fewer choose to subscribe and even a lesser percentage chooses to buy something from me, either training and scores directly or become members of Total Organist.
Concerts I play sometimes are not well attended. Some concerts which are scheduled even get canceled. Videos I post don’t always receive likes or thumbs up. Many compositions I create remain invisible to people. So that’s another form of rejection, right?
So you see, most people who find out about me, reject me. That’s part of the cycle, I guess. You can’t be liked by everybody. That’s one thing we have to get used to. But rejection from most people means you will get emails from some with extremely positive feedback too, such as this:
“[I’m] very happy. [Total Organist] is helping to keep the organ in front of me every day. I have a tendency to procrastinate, and when I procrastinate enough, I forget. This helps a lot. I like the course I'm taking right now on transposition, and look forward to others in the future. Thank you, Vidas and Ausra!” (Laurie)
So maybe what I need is actually more rejections. Maybe I need to reach even more people, so that even more of them would reject me but also more would say “yes”.
Maybe you would need this too?