Rejection! Its a strange thing isn’t it. To be more accurate, it should be perceived rejection because the truth is, rejection is often more about perception than reality!
I’ve been feeling this way about blogging recently. You spend time writing a piece that you really believe in, you post it with genuine altruistic motives, believing that it will help people or at least spark some chain of thought that will lead to some improvement in their lives or bless them in some way……..and hardly anyone reads it. This is naturally exacerbated when you look at other blogs that receive a million views, comments and likes on every post. Ah, comparison with others – such a bane of this modern social media life!
Imagine that you are giving a talk to 500 people and 5 minutes after you start, the first person stands up and walks out, followed by others, and then more, so that by the end of your talk 80% of the audience has left. You are likely to feel rejected and something of a failure. Well, sometimes blogging can feel like that although in reality, most people actually don’t know you exist, much less know about your blog. It is partly down to expectations, or rather hopes, as you put up posts with the wish that lots of people will read them and find them interesting, informative, challenging or whatever.
I am used to feeling rejection because this is my second blog – The Dorset Rambler has been running for several years now but it took a while to get going – and also I used to be a freelance photographer. I had a day job but in my spare time I would send ‘on spec’ submissions to book publishers and magazines in the hopes that they would publish my work. In those days, my submission would probably comprise a dozen or so transparencies or 10″ x 8″ glossy prints – the latter would be printed by me in my darkroom, usually working till the early hours of the morning. Return postage would be included, and most of the time would be utilised to send my package back to me unused, with a letter saying, ‘Thanks but no thanks’. Rejection! Felt rejection, because of course it was never a rejection of ME as they didn’t even know me……but it felt like it!
Clearly there is a simple solution to the pain of rejection – just stay in bed and hide under the covers and you will probably never feel rejection……but you won’t live much either! Not a great solution really!
You see, if you put yourself out there either in person or in writing, be it a blog or on social media, if you express your views, if you engage with people, you make yourself vulnerable to felt rejection. But ultimately, if you want a full life, if you feel passionate about anything, if you care about others, you do it anyway because you can’t help yourself.
I enjoy writing, I enjoy combining words and pictures, I love sharing because sharing always makes any experience better, and I care about people. We are community, we are fellow travellers through life, and making ourselves vulnerable has to be a part of that.
If you are a fellow blogger, you will, I am sure, understand what I am talking about. At the end of the day, we make ourselves vulnerable but we just need to remind ourselves that the rejection we sometimes feel is not necessarily reality, its just our perception.
Thanks for visiting Time to Reflect and for reflecting with me.
(All images and words on this site are copyright of Terry Yarrow and must not be reproduced without permission)
mmmm However some types of rejection are not imagined but real, especially in the emotional departments. – It is such a fine line and unfortunately if we look for approval on our photographs or musings then we are more often than not upset. Which is why so many photographers join photographic groups around the world to share their photos in the hope that people from other countries may appreciate the images. Anyway I have said it before, look to publish your reflections in a book. I think that would work really well. A year of reflections and then promote your blog in the book .
Thanks Kev 🙂 I did try to convey that rejection is not always real, thus implying that it sometimes is but maybe that didn’t come across. I appreciate your support!
I really enjoy you blog(s). I also sometimes think that the most interesting voices are the quieter ones. Not the ones with thousands of likes/follows/shares. Qq I think people quite often ‘like’ to be liked back and so you never know if it is genuine. I don’t always comment but I always read. You should have a ‘reading quietly’ tick box underneath the posts. There are some great things to ponder on in this new blog of yours.
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Thanks so much blod, I really appreciate your feedback and your support!
Very true words – rejection is a very mixed bag. Sometimes humbling (where it’s needed) and sometimes it feels like a real kick. I’ve felt it too.
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Thanks Lynette. It’s not easy to take is it even if it is ‘felt’ rejection rather than real rejection.
Hi, I have only recently started following your blogs..they are inspirational in that they make me want to follow in your footsteps and appreciate the places that you have walked through; and your photos are amazing (and now I know why!) You can feel free to hide under the covers this weekend because the weather is set to be awful…but you had better get your boots back on soon as I am looking forward to the details and pictures of your next expidition. I hope you appreciate that even though I too have spent years walking over Dorset and beyond, your insights always bring something new to consider and enjoy. Keep on blogging my fellow rambler.
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Thanks so much Sarah, I really appreciate your lovely comment. I shall be out on the trail again soon and I have many adventures planned this year, both in Dorset and beyond 🙂 Thanks again! Terry