I was reading an old Writer Magazine yesterday, and the article about best-selling (as in over 15 million copies) Meg Cabot caught my eye. She said you need to block out what you read about “overnight successes” in the publishing business.
She points to her own experience with rejection, and I challenge you to read this without fainting:
- It took her three years of sending out query letters every day to land an agent.
- Before publishing she got a rejection letter every day in the mail for four years–over 1,000 rejections.
And she didn’t quit! She went on to write over 50 books for juveniles, teens and adults. Her Princess Diaries series became the basis of two hit Disney films.
Reading about Meg Cabot’s stick-to-it-iveness made me rather embarrassed for all the times I’ve (1) moaned and groaned about a couple of rejections, and (2) given up on a manuscript after fewer than five rejections. I have four novels in my closet right now that I gave up on after just a few rejections.
This coming year I will be dusting them off, re-reading them for possible revisions, and sending them out again.
How about you? What is your “rejection stamina”? Are you another Meg Cabot? I hope so! Look how her stamina has served her well.
If you’re brave, share how many rejections you receive before giving up on a piece. Also, what’s your best tip for getting a manuscript back in the mail ASAP?