A 2007 ALA Best Book for
(rejected 25 times)
Rejection is difficult. When your story has been rejected for the twenty-fifth time, it makes you wonder at the very least, whether you should continue to work on that story. But then, you read about some other terrific, classic book that was rejected 26 times or 42 times or 100 times. When do you give up on a story? I'm starting to conclude that the answer is never. At least not completely. Not that the story will survive as is and become that classic you always knew it was, but that every story either has something in it that can be the basis of another even better piece OR that you just had to write that story as part of your growth as a writer. It seems we all have stories or ideas we have to work through and get on the page. Every time I write I learn something about writing even though I sometimes don't realize what it was till much later. It's like being at bat in baseball. You will not always get a hit, but if you attend to what you are doing and reflect on it, even though you may strikeout or ground out or pop up, you can learn from it. Next time you are up will know better how to face that pitcher or how you should alter your swing. You may pick up an idea about bat speed or grip. There is value in simply getting in the batter's box. Just that experience alone will teach you something. I think it may be the same for just getting in the chair and writing. Every piece will not be a home run, many will be rejected, perhaps numerous times, but they all teach us something if we stay open to the possibility of learning and continue to persevere in the writing.