by Carly Schorman
Rejections are rough. I know that personally. I might not be a musician but I am an aspiring novelist so I know the struggle of putting your heart into an art project only to begin the tedious and soul-crushing task of sending it out for others to peruse, judge, and, often, reject.
As hard as it might be to hear, rejection is both a painful numbers game and a necessary evil that must be faced in order to take you from hobbyist to professional artist. The conventional wisdom on the matter is that for every 100 rejections, you’re lucky to receive one acceptance.
That’s 99 rejections for every acceptance. Most of us know, and some more personally than others, artists are sensitive creatures. Our creations are an outpouring of our internal workings so the rejections can seem like a personal affront.
They are not nor should they be taken as such.
After managing a music blog for years, I’m continually amazed at the never-ending supply of quality recordings we are forced to decline due to lack of coverage space. And keep in mind that we are a daily publication. That means every single day, we’re trying to provide our readers with something new for their eyes and ears yet we don’t have nearly enough space to accommodate every worthwhile artist that crosses our path.
In the interest of transparency, we’ll share with you that our acceptance rate hovers just over the 10% mark and, since making the shift to national, it has continued to decline. That means for every acceptance, we’re dealing with nine rejections.
Through SubmitHub, we’ve discovered other music blogs frequently have lower acceptance rates, sometimes even under 1%.
That’s where the numbers game comes into play. You must be brave and face the rejection. The odds are not in your favor. If you want to take your music or art to the next level the submissions pile is a place you can’t likely avoid.
Maybe you’ll want to shop your album to a label? Or you’re looking for press for your project? Submit. Maybe you’re like me and have to face the dreaded submissions process for publishers and book agents. Do it. Don’t be afraid.
Start collecting your rejection slips now and do it with pride. For every 100 passes you might just get that coveted acceptance you’ve been waiting for. And, ultimately, you’ll be glad you did. Maybe you’ll even receive some constructive feedback along with those rejections that you can apply to future efforts.
Accept your rejections as part of the process. Victory long sought is better savored.