I’ll never forget the day I started writing my first novel. It was a chilly morning in March 2004, and after many years of suffering from writer’s block, I had a breakthrough! I sat in front of my computer and smiled in amazement as words began to pour out of me like sweet water. I wrote all day and all night and by the next morning, 30 pages later, the beginnings of my debut novel, Unexpected Interruptions, was born.
I was energized with a feeling I’d never had before. I continued to write nearly every day, and a little over four months later my novel was complete. What a great feeling that was! But little did I know that as difficult as I’d thought it was at the time, writing my book turned out to be the easy part. I soon discovered that the hard part was getting my book published. And harder still…selling it!
I conducted diligent research and then submitted my manuscript to every agent, publisher, and editor whom I thought might be interested in my well-written, wonderfully engaging story. Who could turn down my masterpiece, right? Well, imagine my dismay when the rejection letters started trickling in. Everyone I’d submitted my manuscript to turned it down. EVERYONE!
“Did they really read my story?” I’d questioned, “because if they had, how could they turn me down?” I’d asked, over and over, month after month.
Let me tell you, rejection is a hard pill to swallow, but it can also serve as a wake up call. There’s a saying, you haven’t loved until you’ve had your heart broken. Well, you’re not a writer until you get your first rejection letter. But I had some great things on my side that beats rejection every time: Belief, Determination, Perseverance, and Faith.
I believed in the story I’d written and the characters I’d created. I was determined to persevere and do what it took to get my book published, and I had faith that I could do it! Again, I did my research. I made it my mission to learn everything I could about how to publish a book. I attended literary conferences and networked with other authors. I developed a plan, created a timeline, and then I formed my own company, Platinum Books, and published Unexpected Interruptions myself.
The book that everyone rejected went on to win two literary awards, receive high praise from readers, and top a national book club’s bestsellers list. I went on to publish two additional novels that were equally well received. After the success of my books, a traditional publisher offered me a contract to re-release all three of my originally self- published books. The rest, as they say, is history! Oh, and did I mention that upon it’s re-release, Unexpected Interruptions, the little book that everyone initially rejected, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly!
As great as I think my personal triumph is, my story is not uncommon. There are many people just like me who’ve had a dream and didn’t give up until they achieved it. Every successful person I know has had to overcome some sort of obstacle or rejection. And like me, the thing we’ve all learned is that behind every no, there is a yes waiting for you, as long as you’re willing to put in the work!
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