I wanted to take a few lines to discuss the rejection that nearly every writer faces before success.
Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, provides a snippet of the process here - detailing the dozens of rejection letters she received and the nearly three-year process of becoming a published author, more correctly, a best-selling author. She is giddy at rejection letters because they are seen as a red badge of courage to writers – keep getting kicked in the face until you succeed in stupendous glory.
And remember, these are letters from literary agents, not publishing houses – which would be the next step AFTER landing an agent.
The article allows a terrific view into the truth that writers do not ‘come out of nowhere’, nor do they write one draft and it shits out gold. Like anything, once you have established yourself as an author and your books have proven to sell, it gets a little bit easier, but you have to accomplish those things first.
Like working a corporate job where you are promoted and given more money and responsibility as you prove to your company that of which you are capable, authors must prove that they are marketable and, more often than not, that they have more than one story in that whirlwind mind of theirs.
Also, literary agents are human with human emotions and human beliefs – if they read your story and don’t find it interesting, that is one person’s opinion. They are also comparing it to the literary landscape at the time, which, like at this moment, may be dominated by Teenage-Paranormal Romance, whatever the fuck that is.
Your book may be a trailblazer, it could be the first of its kind, but that is not always a good thing because not many people in the business of being in business want to take a chance on an unproven “what was your name, again?”.
The thing for writers to remember is: keep writing and write the shit out of it – if it’s good then the moment will come where it is recognized as so, and all your hard work will be rewarded.
The thing for non-writers to remember is: writing is difficult, that is the reason people put it on bucket lists, and writing a good piece of literature is even more difficult. Then there is trying to sell the damn piece of stacked paper, which is impossibly difficult.
So the next time you read a book, consider the struggle the author endured in getting it into your hands.
Howling and Drinking, Heavily,