By Richard Jay Parker
I can't claim any credit for this week's topic. I found an interesting forum asking agents as well as writers how many negative responses it would take before they give up on a project.
Have a look HERE
The immediate answer is, of course, never.
There are many stories about writers having their material rejected myriad times before it gets published and is a major hit. Frederick Forsyth's DAY OF THE JACKAL is the classic example of this. It was rejected fifty thousand times before it was published. OK - I may be exaggerating. Fifty is the official figure.
Then there's the tragic story about one of my favourite books A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES which John Kennedy Toole's mother managed to get published after he took his life. His suicide was in part due to his failure to get it into print.
As far as I'm concerned, if a writer feels absolutely passionate about a project they should continue to submit and hope it finds that agent or publisher who feels the same way and wants to champion it.
Belief in your own talent in the face of rejection is one of the most difficult things a writer has to deal with.
But this gruelling process has to be tempered by a big dose of realism. Having slaved over and polished a cherished manuscript for so long it's easy to get obsessed by a piece of work. If a writer receives constructive rejections then taking the comments on board is a step past the 'standing on a rock howling into the wind' stage.
It's a commericial world out there and, although you should never compromise your goals as a writer, it's always good to familiarise yourself with the territory your work will have to traverse. Research is a good way to fill those days when you're waiting for responses.
More importantly, it's vital to always be writing because that next project may well supplant the last one.
It brings us back to that concept of nothing we write ever being a waste of time. If we didn't pen the last project then we would never have used that experience to lay the foundation for the one we might have success with.
Win a copy of Richard's book at http://www.richardjayparker.com/ (foot of home page)