You've all suffered through it, whether you're a writer or not. Rejection. The bad word for most humans. The one that hurts unless we have more callouses than than a guitar playing finger.
Tamela Murray Hancock had a great post about writing rejections recently, and I thought it would be appropriate to remind and encourage my writing readers what certain famous writers went through.
I know we've all read and heard, but still. Sometimes it's good to remember, to look at history, to understand that we're not alone.
- Margaret Mitchell garnered 38 rejections with Gone With the Wind.
- Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, authors of the multi-million dollar Chicken Soup for the Soul series received an astounding 140 rejections. A book that went on to become a 65-title series, has sold more than 80 million copies in 37 languages.
- Emily Dickinson, only 7 poems published during her lifetime read this rejection: "(Your poems) are quite as remarkable for defects as for beauties and are generally devoid of true poetical qualities." (Me: What?)
- Ernest Hemingway, regarding his novel, The Torrents of Spring: "It would be extremely rotten taste, to say nothing of being horribly cruel, should we want to publish it."
- William Faulkner, "I can't publish this!"
- D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover: “for your own sake do not publish this book.”
- William Golding, Lord of the Flies: "an absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull.”
- Norman Mailer, The Deer Park: "This will set publishing back 25 years.”
- The Diary of Anne Frank: “The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.”
- Irving Stone, Lust for Life, rejected 16 times but found a publisher and went on to sell about 25 million copies: “A long, dull novel about an artist.”
- Stephen King, Carrie: “We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.” (Me: Someone made a booboo!)
- John le Carré, The Spy who Came in from the Cold: “You’re welcome to le Carré – he hasn’t got any future.”
- George Orwell, Animal Farm: “It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.”
- Richard Hooker, M*A*S*H: 21 rejections.
- Dr. Seuss, first book, To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street: 27 rejections. (Me: love this silly children's book!)
- Jack London: 600 rejections before he sold his first story. (Me: Remember the Call of the Wild?)
- John Creasey, English crime novelist: 753 rejection before publishing 564 books. (Me: Whoa!)
- William Saroya:more than a thousand rejections before he had his first literary piece published. (Me: Double whoa!)