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Some encouraging words of refusal

Feeling down in the dumps? Like art is hopeless and nothing’s gonna happen and the old: “If it’s not working, stop doing it over and over again” is ringing in your head?

Consider this:
Stephen King was rejected by no less than 13 publishers when trying to break through as an author.

The muppets was considered a strange and stupid idea from the start and it took 15 yrs to sell the idea.

JK Rowling, while battling depression and life as a single mum, had so many rejections ’til Bloomsbury thought “yeah, why not, a nice little children’s book about a wizard, it might sell a few copies”.

Beatles got turned down by several big record companies because “guitar bands are on their way out”. OK, not a lot, they were still too brilliant, tight, and hard working to not get discovered. I know many speak of their simplicity in the early days, but listen to even the first “simple” ones and you hear they’re tighter than a computer metronome. But still… rejected…The Beatles!

Oprah was told a black woman was good for infra-structure, but she’d never be anything big on TV.Heh…

Lady Gaga was dropped by her first record label.

Tori Amos had so many rejection letters she could cover a wall with it.

Queen were “over the top, too feminine, too prancy and no better than the other bands out there”. Freddie Mercury and drummer Roger Taylor didn’t give up their booth at Portobello Market, selling paintings and bags, until Queen’s fourth album (One night at the Opera, the one with Bohemian Rhapsody on it). It was then that they thought: “we could maybe make a living out of music”.

Madonna was too bossy, and that gap of hers had to be fixed by a dentist. Impossible to make her career work.

Naomi Watts was ready to move back to Australia when someone thought; “hey, well, she seems right for the American ‘The Ring’. Let’s give it a go.”

Jennifer Lawrence had a “weird face” and hey, is she not too fat to make Hunger Games believable?

Anne Hathayway, too girl next door and too young to be accepted by the audience and the oscar committee in Les Mis.

George Lucas; what kind of idea is this? Space and jedis and empires and a death star? You must be joking! And that went on for about 6-7 yrs.

Regina Spektor’s 3 first albums were self published because no record labels were interested.

And No Doubt’s “sudden breakthrough” happened after the band had been playing for 17 yrs.

And for me? I’ll never make a music video!… OK, I’ll never make an album!… OK, I’ll never make an album in a studio!… OK… I’ll never end up in articles, reviews and blogs… OK…well, the next step I might tell you later πŸ˜‰

I also struggled for about 6 years and 5 tests to take my driver’s license, very much crying and going “aaaah, I’ll never have a license and a car and drive to cool places!” the whole time. But also going “fuck it, I’m too dumb to know when to quit” for the duration.

I could think of countless examples and go on and on, but the lesson here, kids, is; Never fucking ever give up and be way too fucking dumb to know when to quit! πŸ˜‰

This is up in my home so I can look at it all the time


About lillabohmen

Swedish lovechild of Kate Bush, Tori Amos and PJ Harvey. 2 albums and 2 EP:s, all available at Spotify, Itunes, and physically. A blog about music, being a female musician in a male dominated business and the occasional feminist/veggie rant. Check out my homepage: for news, bits and bobs and bio, and buy-o of my music. Never lose that creative spark!

2 responses to “Some encouraging words of refusal

  1. Well, when you put it like that… πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the words of encouragement! There really is no reason why a person should not persist in trying.

    • You’re welcome πŸ™‚ Found some compilations of examples and remembered some things myself from bios and stuff so thought I’d spread the motivation πŸ˜‰ Glad you liked! Most things worth having we fight long and hard for, I find…

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