Tag Archives: Success

Inspiration from Writer’s Rejections

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Rejection hurts no matter who or what you do, but if you’re going to be a writer you’d better develop some thick skin. While there are circumstances of instant acceptance and overnight fame, it’s rare. Writers get rejected a LOT.

First it starts with the manuscript. Writers send their book babies on submission to agents and get a lot of “not right for me” form rejections. If they’re lucky enough to land an agent, eventually the manuscript will go on submission to publishers. And sorry folks, that’s not an instant deal just because they have an agent. Publishers reject agents too. And even after a publisher picks up a novel, the fans can reject the story. For example, The Great Gatsby didn’t become famous until soldiers of World War II wrote home about the story, of which the government had sent to them to have something to read.

Writing is a lot of belief in the story and that it deserves to be told. They hold onto the dream that one day an agent and publisher will agree. They don’t let rejections allow them to quit. After all, giving up is the sure way to not succeed.

But all those rejections keep piling up! And from the dark corners of a writer’s mind, they hear “you’re a fraud” and “stop already”. So I offer encouragement. Not everyone succeeded their first try. Heck, many famous authors took years to get published. Here are a few to inspire writers to keep pushing forward.

  • John Grisham: A Time to Kill was rejected by 16 publishers.
  • James Patterson: Rejected by more than a dozen publishers.
  • J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter was rejected by 12 publishing houses.
  • William Faulkner: Sanctuary was said couldn’t be published.
  • Nicholas Sparks: The Notebook was turned down by 24 literary agencies.
  • Louisa May Alcott: The author of Little Women had been told to stick to teaching.
  • Margaret Mitchell: Gone With The Wind faced 38 rejections.
  • Frank Herbert: After 20 rejections, Dune was finally published.
  • Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen: Chicken Soup for the Soul had 134 rejections.
  • Kathryn Stockett: The Help author got rejected at least 61 times.

And sometimes it just takes years!

  • Alex Haley: After writing daily for EIGHT years, the Roots author found success.
  • Gertrude Stein: Submitted poems for TWENTY-TWO years before one got pubbed.
  • Elizabeth Jolly: Wrote about 30 years before her first publication.

So, as you can see, successful writing takes perseverance. And while there are success stories of writers who self publish, that’s a story for another day. For now, I hope this is enough encouragement for writers today!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

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Encouragement for the Day!

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The difficulties of writing a novel can be tedious and more difficult than some people think. Writers don’t just pound out perfection in one sitting the first attempt. It can take days, weeks, months, or even years to get the first draft done, depending on other work obligations. Most writers have a day job not involving their writing career and have to squeeze writing in any free moment they can.

After the first draft is finished, comes the editing, and editing, and editing. A writer then sends manuscript to critique partners (CPs) or beta’s to help find plot holes, voice problems, or anything else they spot helpful. Hopefully, the writer has already caught most grammar and punctuation errors, but if not, CPs and beta’s can help with that too. And behold…more edits, and edits, and edits! If a writer is lucky, they’ll have funds to hire a professional editor to help with their manuscript, but this can get very expensive.

When a writer thinks the project is  at it’s best, they send off to literary agents. Sometimes these turn into requests for more revisions, so there is more editing involved. Now, I’m not going to get into the difficulties of landing an agent, or how long it can take to get a publishers to agree to publish EVEN if you have an agent. But, let me say, it can take years of writing new manuscripts and rejection after rejection before getting an agent or a publisher. And even after getting an agent or publishing contract, guess what? There are MORE edits! The process is loooooong! Writer’s know what I’m talking about.

What happens sometimes is a writer can get discouraged after so many rejections. Sometimes they want to give up. But, giving up is the only certain way to make sure a writer doesn’t succeed. The key is to surround themselves with like-minded people. The writing community is very supportive with each other. When they fell discouraged, they should reach out! But no matter what they do, DON’T GIVE UP! Let me repeat that…

DON’T GIVE UP!!!!!!!

Keep writing words to weave into fabulous stories. People want to read them. And they shall, if writer’s keep trying!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

THE YEAR 2015

Many folk make new year resolutions every year: shed more weight, spend more time with the family, get a better job, buy a house, find a better treatment for an illness, and on and on and on. These are important to all who make them and often are needed for improvements in the quality of their life. But for writer’s, resolutions tend to remain similar: write a manuscript (or write a better manuscript), find awesome critique partners, sign with an agent, get an amazing editor, have a book published (or get another book published), and so forth. But what if last years resolution wasn’t met?

Making the decision to do something and see it to fruition doesn’t always mean that it will occur in the timeframe one may wish. Does this mean a person should give up on that resolution? Of course not. Only ideas that are abandoned will certainly never see the light of day. Maybe the method someone uses works fine and just needs more time. Or maybe the person needs to find a new approach. For example, maybe a pantser decides to outline a plot this year or perhaps a writer reworks a query letter to take a completely different angle. Everyone should find what works best for them, even if it means changing things up a bit. With diligence and creativity, resolutions for 2015 can be accomplished.

Believe!

P.D. Pabst
Writer and blogger of MG/YA fiction