Maybe you, like me, have dreamed of being-an author for years. Maybe you have also written stories and then forsaken it all to embark on other adventures in your life. Maybe you’re back now, on the road where writing calls to you and all you think about are the stories and the characters in your head (while also of course, scheduling in time to be with your family and friends 🙂 I still love you guys)
Writing can be discouraging. Rather, writing toward publication can be discouraging, because unless you have writer friends, no one understands you.
I’d like to encourage you. Don’t give up.
Here are 5 stories of authors who did not give up.
When Becky began writing, she wrote four historical fiction novels at 100 K each. It took over four years for her to find a publishing house that would accept one of her novels. Then, after she gave birth to her first chikd, she stopped writing for the next seven years while she took care of her children. When she felt the call to return to writing, she began to write contemporary Christian romance. Sometimes, we’re forced to put our dreams on hold, but that doesn’t mean we should ever give up.
Stephen King: One of the most well known authors in this century
King received 60 rejections before he sold his first short story. After another 30 rejections, he published his first full length novel, Carrie, but it only sold 13,000 hard cover copies. Later, Signet Books signed on for the paperback rights for $400,000, $200,000 of which went to King. Ah, patience and persistence pays off.
Dr. Suess: Arguably a household name in children’s literature
This famous children’s author received 27 rejection letters before he ran into an old college friend who happened to be a children’s book editor. After his friend reviewed his book, he agreed to publish it with Vanguard Press. And thus, a legend was made.
Andy Weir: Author of The Martian
Weir’s story is shocking and awe inspiring. Not because he was poor and became rich; in fact, he was a computer programmer by trade and made plenty of money. He also happened to love writing. In fact, in 1999 when he lost his job with AOL, he spent 3 years writing a couple of novels, and attempted to find an agent and / or publisher, to no avail. In 2002, he resumed his work in the software industry and wrote on the side as a hobby.
In 2009, he published his novel, The Martian, on an online blog, chapter by chapter, and it accrued rave reviews from its readers, some of whom were actually scientists. The more chapters he posted, the more his readers suggested technical changes to the accuracy of the science within the book (if you’ve read the book or watched the movie, you know it’s extremely science heavy.)
After he self-published the Martian on Amazon in 2012, an agent from Random House contacted him to see if he wanted representation. And the rest…is history.
Nicholas Sparks; A prolific romance author and producer
Sparks’ story begins, as many author stories begin. He wrote not one, but TWO entire manuscripts that never saw the light of day, while working as a salesman. To this day, he has emphatically stated that he does not wish to ever publish them. Makes me wonder, and perhaps not feel so bad about my own currently finished manuscripts 🙂
Then, he wrote the Notebook, his first published novel. 24 literary agencies turned down The Notebook, The 25th agent sold it to a publisher for $1 million.
I chose a variety of authors representing a variety of genres on purpose. There are numerous stories around the web of authors, actors, actresses, singers, entertainers, and plenty of others who refused to give up until they made something of themselves. Find encouragement in this. You are not alone. Keep going. Refuse to be denied. Listen to your heart. If people are rejecting your work, refocus, take a look at your writing, refine it, rewrite it, revise, rework, and keep going.