Today I received my first rejection letter on my story, Simon. Quirk Books was kind enough to take the time to tell me by mail that they would not be using my manuscript. On their part it demonstrates a gracious nature and regard for a new writer.
Oh, how a writer, like any artist, must live with rejection. And that’s not just a grim reconciliation, like someone lives with psoriasis. Rejection must be embraced as one more step toward success. Like Thomas Edison, as he is quoted or maybe misquoted as saying when someone suggested that he had failed 10,000 times before he invented the light bulb. Those failures are steps to success and necessary ones.
I have a good friend who always looks toward the positive. She might find herself in the hospital after a car accident and decide her recovery leaves her lots of time to catch up on her letter writing or really follow her favorite soap opera. When I call her with a problem and she always can present an attitude where it is better to look forward rather than regret the past.
With writing, the rejection provides another function: That you are not there yet. Whether the writer is required to write more query letters or improve upon his work, the rejection is an invitation to work harder, to read more, write with more feeling, to learn more technique, to observe more accurately and more acutely the world he inhabits. The rejection is a call to keep going.
I have a million stories waiting to come out. Keep tuned in. Success is just a certain number of rejections away.