First, it took her a year and a half to write The Help (stop beating yourself up Tasha!). She shared her enthusiasm when she received her first rejection, took the advice given and went back to work. Over the next few months, she queried again and the rejection number jumped to 15. Obviously this is hard to manage for everyone and the spouse takes you out to dinner after 10 rejections rule probably helps a bit, but it starts to hurt.
While her dedication and perseverence up to this point are remarkable, it's the next part of her story that demonstrates her tenacity, dedication, and I would even say trust in herself.
A year and a half later, I opened my 40th rejection: “There is no market for this kind of tiring writing.” That one finally made me cry. “You have so much resolve, Kathryn,” a friend said to me. “How do you keep yourself from feeling like this has been just a huge waste of your time?”
That was a hard weekend. I spent it in pajamas, slothing around that racetrack of self-pity—you know the one, from sofa to chair to bed to refrigerator, starting over again on the sofa. But I couldn’t let go of The Help. Call it tenacity, call it resolve or call it what my husband calls it: stubbornness.Have you been on the racetrack of self pity? Maybe over a scene you don't know how to write, a character who needs to be tweaked but you don't know how, all of your friends get agents and you are still trying to finish the good for nothin' low down dirty rotten freakin' manuscript to even have the chance to share a rejection story? This the key to Kathryn's whole story, her advice for every single one of us.
The point is, I can’t tell you how to succeed. But I can tell you how not to: Give in to the shame of being rejected and put your manuscript—or painting, song, voice, dance moves, [insert passion here]—in the coffin that is your bedside drawer and close it for good. I guarantee you that it won’t take you anywhere. Or you could do what this writer did: Give in to your obsession instead.
How are you going to give into your obsession this weekend?