Thursday, May 8, 2008

Back in the Drawer, Please


Lest we lose our focus, an anonymous novelist wrote in to share the following advice, found hidden in the middle of a publishing rejection:

"Many best selling novelists had to write two or three books before they hit their stride. You clearly have talent, and I hope you will continue to write. I think this story would benefit from being put in a drawer for some months while you complete another book."

Bold, no?

 I had a friend who used to keep his novel manuscript in the refrigerator. He said it kept it crisp between rejections.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I used to keep mine in the freezer, but only because I was afraid of there being a fire in my apartment. I had read somewhere that it was the safest flame-retardant place.

Warren Adler said...

The true novelist must continue to soldier on, keep writing, keep trying, taking the increasingly painful hits of rejection after rejection until… well, until someone out there catches on…or doesn’t. Sorry. We are all waiting for Godot. Sometimes he comes.

Puc said...

Then there was the novelist who wanted to outdo Balzac, which he may have, but we’ll never know, because after finishing his 40 million-word work, titled “The Disambiguations,” someone gave him E. B. White’s “Elements of Style,” wherein he read “omit needless words.” He went to work on his frigate draft, omitting, omitting. Soon, he had omitted enough words to move the manuscript from a suburban storage unit to the trunk of his car. But he continued to whittle away at the needless words. When I last heard from him, he was down to one word, from which he was omitting needless letters. He kept the last word in his wallet, under his expired medical and dental coverage card.

Writer, Rejected said...

And the word was...."No."

Puc said...

Yes.

Writer, Rejected said...

Indeed

bloglily.com said...

aw

puc said...

Another would be writer I knew lived with his single mom who died of stage fright when asked to introduce herself at a book club he had talked her into joining. But he inherited a car, a boat, and a house. He had always wanted to write, so he sold the car and house, quit his job, and went to live on the boat and write. He threw the rejections into the boat’s hold. It did not take long for the boat to sink from the weight of the rejections.

Wild Iris said...

Rejection can be the fertilizer that forces us to grow into new directions, so long as it's not taken personally. I do like that idea of keeping a manuscript "crisp" between rejections though.