Friday, September 18, 2009

Best Revenge is Massive Success

I walk along the river trail in Durango two to three times a week. I say hello to everyone I pass but only one out of several will reply or smile. I came home in a snit the other day because this trend really started to bother me. “What’s wrong with me?” I asked my husband.

The next day, I heard a bit on the radio about a study that revealed a person’s self-esteem is boosted when others smile or say hello to them. Aha! Each time someone failed to respond (smile, nod, speak), I felt rejected!

Rejection…a walker’s AND a writer’s constant companion.

My friend, Liz, from Austin, sent me a cool link about famous authors who were rejected repeatedly and often rudely by publishers and agents. I’ve never felt more hopeful about my novels’ prospects!

Here’s just a sample of the comments. Are you as blown away as I am?

  • Stephen King’s novel, Carrie, was rejected dozens of times. One publisher said: “We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell."
  • William Golding’s Lord of the Flies was rejected by 20 publishers. One denounced the future classic with these words: “An absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull.”
  • Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind was rejected 38 times.
  • John Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill, was rejected by a dozen publishers and 16 agents before breaking into print and launching his best-selling career.
  • After John le CarrĂ© submitted his first novel, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, one of the publishers sent it along to a colleague, with this message: “You’re welcome to le CarrĂ© – he hasn’t got any future.”

As Frank Sinatra once said, “The best revenge is massive success.”

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