Friday, December 4, 2009

The Wait

The wait for an agent or editor to respond to a query, the wait for someone to accept your work; those are some of the most frustrating things we deal with as writers. We rack up countless rejections as we toil in quiet desperation. Sometimes it helps to know we are not alone. Some of the most successful authors struggled to get their work published.

Theodor Geisel’s first picture book, To Think It happened on Mulberry Street, was rejected 29 times before it was finally accepted for publication. His books have since sold over 100 million copies.

John Grisham's A Time to Kill was repeatedly rejected. He now has over 60 million copies of his novels in print. Pearl S. Buck's Pulitzer Prize winning book The Good Earth was rejected something like 14 times.

What if Ted Geisel only sent out 28 queries, imagine growing up NOT reading A Cat in The Hat? Or Horton Hears a Who or dare I say it, The Lorax. Can you imagine not seeing someone sitting in an airport reading A Time to Kill, or The Client or The Pelican Brief? If these authors stopped short of their goal, that's what might have happened. Hard to believe. So what does it take to get published in this ever-changing, unforgiving world of publishing?

Perseverance: that dogged pursuit of a goal in spite of the obstacles. I think a great representation of perseverance is in this Jacob Riis quote:

I'd look at one of my stone cutters hammering away at the rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet, at the hundred and first blow it would split in two, and I knew it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.

-Jacob August Riis

So hang in there, fellow writers!




  1. So true. Yes, waiting is part of the game.

  2. I just found your blog today by way of a link from the WD Synopsis article. Just wanted to let you know that I found it encouraging and the pix made me smile. Good things come to those who write and wait:-)