If you follow my Facebook author page you know that I post links to interesting articles about writing. The Steve Laube Agency is one of my favorite sources.
Last week, Laube posted an article, “Handling Disappointment,” in which he explains how he counters feelings of disappointment and rejection. He uses Abraham Lincoln as an example of one who persevered.
During the 26 years before he was elected President, Lincoln:
Lost his job,
Was defeated for state legislature,
Failed in business,
His sweetheart died,
He had nervous breakdown,
Was defeated for nomination for Congress,
Was rejected for land officer,
Was defeated for U.S. Senate,
Was defeated for nomination for Vice President,
And was defeated again for U.S. Senate.
Of course, there were some successes mixed in with his disappointments, but Lincoln’s journey to the Presidency was very similar to a writer’s journey toward success. He didn’t give up. He looked forward with faith toward success, yet unseen.
If these authors had given up, we would have missed out on some of their best work:
Frank Herbert, Dune – 13 rejections
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – 14 rejections
Patrick Dennis, Auntie Mame – 17 rejections
Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull – 18 rejections
Madeline L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time – 29 rejections
Stephen King, Carrie – 30 rejections
Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind– 38 rejections
John Grisham A Time to Kill– 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 was rejected so many times that she decided to publish it herself.
We writers are sometimes knocked down by rejection letters, editorial changes and uncomplimentary reviews, but somehow we find the will to keep going. Are you facing disappointment today? Don’t give up! Success is on the horizon. Just keep moving forward with faith.
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