Yesterday I received six (6!) rejection emails and I must admit to feeling a bit discouraged as I went to sleep last night. I kept wondering what the judges were looking for and why my stuff wasn't good enough. I questioned my talent and my abilities and even my judgement - do I even know what is worthy and good? Because I really believed that at least a couple of my pieces were, based on what I see at other shows and around the blogging universe. I wondered, "Am I completely kidding myself and are my creations just not special at all?"
On the other (zen) hand, why spend a moment being unhappy about this? This is just one thing, and there is so much talent out there, why not embrace and enjoy it? I love to create; I LIVE to create. I'm creating because I am driven to do it by some deep primeval force, not to compete with OR be recognized by others. For the most part, I'm challenged by and learn from everything I create in some way, so there's always something gained. I'm always pushing myself to try something new and it's somehow so deeply soul-filling to see how a creation turns out from idea to finish. I get a LOT of joy from it - what more is there?
So. Why even enter the show? I think we all participate for different reasons. For me it's exposure - I would really like to sell more of my work, and I would love to teach (you can take the teacher out of the classroom, but...) and I'm working on some patterns to sell and I even have a couple of book ideas. But will anyone want what I'm offering? If I judge solely by not getting a piece into Quiltcon this year the answer would be no. (Too - the proposal form for Stash books is a little intimidating if one hasn't been recognized (a lot) by one's peers, I have to admit.) But again, this is just one thing. That other stuff is my ego inserting it's obnoxious little self again. Just do. Focus on that.
Also, it's my truth that I don't spend very much time marketing; in fact, almost none. I can't blame anyone but myself for that. And full disclosure, I was actually lucky enough to have a piece selected for last year's Quiltcon, and although I thought it might lead to something more for me, it really didn't. I feel like I've gotten a lot more exposure from blogging, following others' blogs, getting involved, and from the New Blogger's Blog Hop (thanks again to Yvonne, Cheryl, Stephanie and everyone else who worked on that, by the way!) Not to mention the real prize - I've met so many wonderful quilty friends (I really hope I get to see some of you in Pasadena in person!)
And of course, spiritually speaking (I'm reminding myself), it's the journey, not the outcome...
So by golly, I'm rejecting any sour grapes that might want to worm there way into my thoughts. I don't want to not be happy for those who get pieces accepted. I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing (and being inspired by) the creations at the last two Quiltcons, and I will enjoy and be inspired at this year's show too. I absolutely do NOT want to be negative or feel negativity about anything, but most especially not about creating or fellow quilters. I want to enjoy what the creative universe has put out there, and lose my ego completely. (Obviously hasn't happened entirely, yet - it's a goal, anyway.)
So instead of questioning the choices or spending another second on negativity, I'm sending out sincere congratulations to everyone who had a piece chosen for the show. You deserve it! And I can't wait to see how the creative universe has come through you.
(I'll be there!)