Remembering Rejections

Monday, November 23, 2009

On The Muffin, we've posted about rejections before. As a writer, you've probably heard all the standard rejection advice: personal rejections are good, a rejection is at least a response, and everybody gets rejected.

That's what I want to focus on today--during Thanksgiving week--

Everybody gets rejected!

I received an e-mail over the weekend, reminding me of this fact, and I thought it would be great to share it with my fellow women writers as a reminder not to give up, not to see one rejection as the end of your career. Look at this list:

Dune by Frank Herbert – 13 rejections

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – 14 rejections

Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis – 17 rejections

Jonathan Livingston Seagull – 18 rejections

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle – 29 rejections

Carrie by Stephen King – over 30 rejections

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – 38 rejections

A Time to Kill by John Grisham – 45 rejections

Louis L’Amour, author of over 100 western novels – over 300 rejections before publishing his first book

John Creasy, author of 564 mystery novels – 743 rejections before publishing his first book

Ray Bradbury, author of over 100 science fiction novels and stories – around 800 rejections before selling his first story

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter – rejected so universally the author decided to self-publish the book

So, when you open your mailbox and see the thin envelope OR open the e-mail and see, "Thank you for your submission but. . .", remember this list, don't give up hope, and be thankful that you can go back to the drawing board.

Happy Writing!
Margo Dill
Read These Books and Use Them


Angela Mackintosh said...

Wow, Ray Bradbury had 800 rejections! And Beatrix Potter self published? I didn't know that! What a crazy list. Thanks, Margo! It certainly gives me a kick in the pants to get out there and try no matter what. ;)

Analisa said...

I love love love this post. It is so great to see how many folks we admire walked that same rejection slip road. Very few get published the first time out. Even after Stephen King had a book deal they asked him to trim like 400 hundred pages off The Stand. My first rejection made me feel like I was indeed a writer.

Margo Dill said...

WOW! 400 pages off of The Stand--the published version is already pretty long, right? And knowing him, he probably wrote it in like 6 months. Still working on my same YA novel for the last 5 years. :) Ang--glad to give you a kick in the pants. :)

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