I’m not sure any of my essays would have been published if I’d given up.
Submissions got lost. Email got deleted. Editors got deluged.
If you care about your writing and want it to be published, then you need to keep sending it out and following up. But don’t follow up with, “I’m following up.” Follow up with more reasons why your essay or story will connect with the publication’s readers or with a new essay. Sometimes it’s easier to sell the older one by getting your foot in the door with a newer one.
I’d like to share a story about a writer who refused to give up. It comes from Stand and Deliver by Dale Carnegie Training.
A laundry worker making $60 a week at his job wanted to be a writer. He spent his nights and weekends typing manuscripts to send to publishers and agents. All were rejected. Finally, a warm, more personal rejection letter came in the mail … The publisher said his writing wasn’t good enough yet, but encouraged him to keep writing and submitting.
He sent two more manuscripts to that publisher over the next 18 months. He struck out with both. Almost broke, he and his wife had to disconnect their TV to pay for their child’s medicine.
Frustrated, he took his latest manuscript and threw it in the trash. His wife fished it out and sent it to that same publisher.
Stephen King’s book Carrie sold more than 5 million copies and became one of the top-grossing films in 1976.
It’s not easy being a writer or a painter or anything else that requires creativity of mind, body and soul. It requires unrelenting persistence and self belief, especially in the face of rejections.
Recall these related words from the great Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Got any stories about not giving up on your life? Love to hear below …
p.s. Got a few on-line writing adventures coming up at Story Circle. If you dare, check them out …
Also Samantha Bangayan interviewed me for Yellow Brick Road. It’s called, “How to Live Fearlessly.”