Sunday, January 25, 2009
In Celebration of Rejection
Good Sunday Morning,
Sunday is a good day for both reflection and thanksgiving, and when I ran across this book excerpt this morning, I thought it was very appropriate to my work. The thing is, no matter what people may have to say about a writer's work, it is always a good idea not to give up.
Like many writers of my generation, I submitted my work for years, and reaped a huge stack of rejection letters - the darned thing was over three inches tall - that represented hundreds of submissions that me told my writing did not please the editor of the day.
As happened, I was invited to a bonfire one evening, and the hosts of the party suggested that attendees bring items that stood for a condition they wanted to get rid of in their life. I looked around my place and decided that I really did not need to keep all the rejection letters I had collecte during the preceding twenty years. They were negativity made reality, after all!
I took that stack of paper and flung it into the fire, I even drank a toast to a new day. It wasn't long after that my work started to be accepted in the new field of e-book publishing. Believe me, I didn't know what a long road that would turn out to be, but I was glad that somewhere, somehow people would have the opportunity to read my work. My career in publishing is still evolving, but I do have some books out there and that means a lot.
Check out what some of these other well-known writers went through as they collected rejection slips. You might be surprised:
CELEBRATION OF REJECTION
From the pages of How to Get a Literary Agent by Michael Larsen
1. 112 Books by Louis L’Amour, even though he received 200 rejections before he sold his first novel. During the last forty years Bantam has shipped nearly three hundred million of his one hundred twelve books, making him their biggest-selling author.
2. 600+ rejection slips wall paper Jack London’s home.
3. 774 rejection slips for John Creasy who went on to publish under 13 pseudonyms 564 books
4. 14 rejected Pearl S Buck finally published The Good Earth
5. 20 rejections didn’t stop Jonathan Livingston Seagull’s publication and you know how famous it became, written by Richard Bach
6. 40 rejections before she sold her first book didn’t stop Mary Higgins Clark
7. 200 rejections Roots by Alex Haley was published.
8. 15 publishers and 30 agents rejected John Grisham’s A Time to Kill before it was finally published.
9. 375 publishers rejected Naked in Deccan over seven years before the Baltimore Sun deemed it a classic.
10. Dr Seuss – 24 in his file of rejections before his first books was published
11. 8 years after the novel Steps won the National Book Award, Jerzy Kosinski
allowed it to be send out again with a name change to 13 agents and 14 publishers – all of them rejected it, including Random House, which originally published it.
12. The New Yorker rejected a short story by Saul Bellow after he won the Nobel
Prize for Literature.
Looks to me like rejection is part of the journey so don't let it get you down and keep on the sunny side! Terry