January 12th, 2011: Charting Failure
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! I hope the Holidays were kind to folks?
WRITERS have different ways of dealing with failure or rather, in this PC world of spinning conditions and states toward the optimistic… setbacks. Some writers lose themselves to some form of oubliette, be it alcohol, sex or drugs. Or maybe they follow more spiritual means like religion, philosophies or cultivating a Zen garden. Many simply drop out of the race. The highway of fiction is littered with the corpses of vehicles left abandoned by their drivers.
The ones who survive, however, and treat the race as a lifetime marathon seem to derive a certain perverse pleasure in keeping a tally of their rejections. They take pride in it because it’s a form of control in the industry that leaves you feeling merciless savaged and helpless. So you take control by making a game of the rejection pile. So how am I doing in the novel sweepstakes? Well, I’m happy to report (odd statement that), that of my two novels being shopped around, the WWII Horror Novel is at 6 rejections and the contemporary horror novel is at 5 rejections. I’m now half-way behind the pace for J.K. Rowling and the first Harry Potter book.
In the race of rejections:
Contemporary Horror Novel 5 Rejections
WWII Horror Novel 6 Rejections
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter 12 Rejections
Richard Adam’s Watership Down 13 Rejections
Anne Frank’s Anne Frank’s Diary 15 Rejections
Canfield & Hansen Chicken Soup for the Soul 134 Rejections
Small victories, right, and the two things these eventual success stories all share are 1) Persistence, and 2) Many rejections, but one person to say “Yes!”