Thoughts of Labor Day merge with the idea that writing is hard work. Some writers found rejection too hard to handle and quit. Others kept going, believing in their talent. Thank goodness they did; otherwise we might have missed these stories that not only survived, but thrived:
Stephen King had his first book Carrie rejected 30 times until Doubleday offered him a $2500 advance. Carrie launched King’s career and, like many of his novels, it was made into a feature film.
Have you seen the film “The Help” based on Kathryn Stockett’s book? Before it became the popular film that movie goers flocked to see, The Help received 60 rejections. After Amy Einhorn Books bought it, Stockett’s novel made the New York Times bestseller list, stayed there for 100 weeks and, so far, has sold over 7million copies.
When you hear the word “MASH” you likely associate it with the popular television series. The original M*A*S*H, the book written by Richard Hooker, was rejected 21 times. Finally, after many revisions and help from journalist W.C. Heinz, Hooker’s book was published, and four years later MASH showed up on TV screens all across America—the rest is history.
Another languishing manuscript that became famous is the bestselling science fiction novel, Dune. Frank Herbert‘s story received 23 rejections before Chilton Books (a company best known for publishing automotive manuals) picked it up. Dune has sold more than 20 million copies, won numerous literary awards and, of course, made it to the big screen.
Madeleine L’Engle‘s A Wrinkle in Time was turned down by 26 publishers who decided the story was too deep for young readers. Farrar, Straus & Giroux finally published the story as a young adult novel, not certain if it belonged there or as a book for adults. Not to worry, both children and adults loved the book! Since then, more than 10 million copies have sold. A Wrinkle in Time won the coveted Newbery Medal and most recently the story was released as a feature film starring Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon.
So, on this Labor Day when your thoughts turn to work and a well deserved rest remember this:
Don’t rest too long!
Don’t allow your work in progress languish,
and most important NEVER give up.
Yours might be the next novel to one day make it to the big screen.
I’m taking a couple weeks off from blogging to relax, enjoy the lake and the north woods, and recharge my idea bank. I wish you all a restful Labor Day, and I’ll see you back here soon.
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