“Fear of rejection is so deep that many times we just don’t try.” That’s what my husband said to me after I told him about yet another rejection. At least I put myself out there. It’s something. It’s a start.
The same day I jotted the Quick Note on Rejection, I received an email that evening. An affirming email. A Broadcast Journalism student at USC saw my poem at The Art of Being: Woman Exhibit at the Richland Library downtown and wanted to interview me about my poem. Yes. I have a poem, my words are on display at the library. It was the reminder I needed.
A couple of weeks ago Brittany M. Watkins, a visual artist who was visiting the library for a project, invoked my name in an Instagram story post: “Jennifer Bartell, wherever you are, thank you for your poetry. I am certain that it has helped so many and will continue to do so.” Her message made me think of how the poem must have impacted others who saw the exhibit; perhaps my words buoyed them up. This ultimately is why I write.
This is what follows rejection: reminders of my purpose as a writer and motivation to continue writing.
The closing reception for the The Art of Being: Woman Exhibit is Friday, April 8 at the Main Richland Library in downtown Columbia. If you are in the area, please join me and the other artists as we celebrate and speak about our work. The last day to visit the exhibit is April 15.