Jennifer and I have been discussing rejection recently. Over in my blog I quoted the great Haruki Murakami comparing writing a novel to running a jazz bar. I’d like to post that quote up here as well, as a reminder to us all that our work has integrity and it is unique and not everyone will like it, but that is more than okay.
Even when I ran the club, I understood [that you can’t please everybody]. A lot of customers came to the club. If one out of ten enjoyed the place and decided to come again, that was enough. If one out of ten was a repeat customer, then the business would survive. To put it another way, it didn’t matter if nine out of ten people didn’t like the club.
Realizing this lifted a weight of my shoulders. Still, I had to make sure the one person who did like the place really liked it. In order to do that, I had make my philosophy absolutely clear, and patiently maintain that philosophy no matter what. This is what I learned from running a business.
In our links section there is an article about rejection that’s worth reading.
If you haven’t read Murakami before, I recommend his work. But do consider his words above: not everyone likes his approach. But enough people like his work to allow him to write full time. He’s the winner of various acclaimed literary prizes, such as the Franz Kafka Priz and the Jerusalem prize. I’d certainly put Murakami on my list of favourite authors, along with Kurt Vonnegut and Raymond Chandler.