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Friday, February 24, 2012

Why we need to be rejected

Stephen King, you may have heard that name, received dozens of rejections for his first novel, Carrie; he kept them tidily nailed to a spike under a timber in his bedroom.

One of the publishers sent Mr. King's rejection with these words:

 We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.

J. K. Rowling's  (you may have heard that name as well)Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (later Sorceror’s) Stone was rejected by a dozen publishers, including biggies like Penguin and HarperCollins. Bloomsbury, a small London publisher, only took it on at the behest of the CEO’s eight-year old daughter, who begged her father to print the book. I wonder if Jo sent her advanced copies of all her books -regardless, thank God daughters tend to have inexplicable influence over their fathers (yes, from personal experience)

William Golding's (you may not recognize the name until you hear the title), 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.
I'm sure there are countless others, these are just a few I found on a quick google search. Full article from the Examiner HERE.  

Important? Absolutely.  I can say with certainty that each of these author's works have changed the lives of many, many people -mine among them.  

We, as authors and humans (sometimes the relationship between the two can be questionable) need rejection.  It keeps things fresh, it keeps us hungry, it keeps us fighting to prove the doubters wrong.  Belief in ourselves-in our product, in our work,  in the face of rejection pushes us to higher levels of determination.  A good chip on your shoulder can lift you to unimaginable heights (just ask Marshall Bruce Mathers III or Dwayne Douglas Johnson or Christopher Paolini). 

Pure positivity can result in some dreadful works. Embrace rejection -it is the fuel of greatness.


As always, find interviews, writing samples, videos, contests and more on my re-vamped website.


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