Sunshine & Chocolate & Everything Writing

Writing as if I have something to say.

A big, fat yes to persistence

Posted by Line Larsen on October 13, 2008

When someone has recently received a rejection letter from a publisher (me), it appears that the list of successful authors who experienced the same thing is endless. All of a sudden friends and family are a never ending source of famous writers facing turn downs and hardship while pursuing their career. I suspect they researched this beforehand and has created some sort of writer-friends anonymous group, to make sure their encouragement checks out.

Apparently it is very rare for a manuscript from a brand new author to be accepted right away. Are publisher’s like Jews; you have to prove your dedication and return three-four times before they will let you convert to their world? Supposedly, it’s politics as well. What politics would that be? My novel is just too offensive? Or it’s all about money. Well, of course it is all about money! That’s the really soul-crushing part of it, isn’t it. That someone read my book and thought: “Not many readers will be interested in this. Very few sane people will pay 10 dollars to read Line’s writing.”

It’s not like I want to give up. No, wait. I meant to say: It’s not like I can give up. I do wish, though, that I dreamt of being a nurse. Or a mother of three. Or an historian. All life goals where you never have to receive a letter which basically says: “I have now witnessed you pouring your soul out on paper and while there is no doubt this has taken you some time, the spelling was adequate after all, I am not interested in you.”

The worst thing is possibly that when people ask what I do, I say: “Well, not much. I work with children, mainly, but I don’t plan on doing it forever.” The typical question is then: “What do you plan on doing?”. And there I am, stuttering away, about how I hope/wish/dream to some day be a published author. These days I may go into a rant about how I try to make it as a freelance writer, which I then have to explain is far less glamorous than people suspect, and further tell how yes, I have written a book and no, it is not published and yes, I have tried.

The reaction is one of two. One is the thought: “She clearly doesn’t have any talent, but clings on to a hobby.” Or: “You will make it! Don’t give up!”. The thing that gets to me with the latter response is that we never hear about those that don’t. Nobody has created a list over who never made it, despite not giving up and believing in themselves. It is probably far more of those than the other kind.

Such a horrible way to measure your accomplishments; those letters from publishers. Crossing my fingers and hoping for acceptance, this shall be my life.


One Response to “A big, fat yes to persistence”

  1. They say in Nashville there is a songwriter story every week of someone ready to leave who gets a break. I wait also.

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