An inevitability for many writers is rejection. This might seem like a depressing topic, but I choose to think of it as a healthy (and repeated) process in becoming the author that I want to be. But in case you (like me) sometimes like to indulge in a little schadenfreude, then here are some failure/success stories for you:
Jasper Fforde – received 76 rejections after writing six novels and thirty short stories.
Dr. Seuss – 27 different publishers rejected him.
J.K. Rowling – was rejected by 14 publishers.
Jack London – His first story received over 600 rejection slips.
Madeline L’Engle – “A Wrinkle in Time” was rejected 29 times.
C.S. Lewis – received over 800 rejections before selling his writing to anyone.
F. Scott Fitzgerald – was told that he’d “…have a decent book if [he would] get rid of that Gatsby character.”
Judy Bloom – received rejections for two straight years before getting anything published.
J.K. Rowling once said, “You might never fail on the scale I did,” Rowling told that privileged audience. “But it is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.
So here’s what I think: take a leap and if you fail, keep on trying. Out of every scalding rejection letter comes a new understanding, desire and hope.
*Schadenfreude: a German word for happiness at the misfortune of others.
*Okay, so I’m not really happy when people fail, but it does provide hope when you know that after all of those failures was success.