Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Never Give Up
Last week a movie opened up in theaters everywhere that wouldn’t have if it hadn’t been for one author’s tenacity. The book, THE HELP, spent months at the top of bestselling lists since its publication in 2009. It has inspired and entertained people everywhere. All this would have remained just a dream for Kathryn Stockett if she’d stopped trying. If she’d given up.
I will admit I have not read the book or seen the movie. I’d like to read the book now that I’ve learned Ms. Stockett’s story. But when I clicked on this article (http://www.more.com/kathryn-stockett-help-best-seller) on Yahoo last week, I had no interest in it except in the shocking headline: Kathryn Stockett's 'The Help' Turned Down 60 Times Before Becoming a Best Seller.
I was instantly awed and inspired for obvious reasons. Here’s a story about someone achieving the same dream I have. It showed me that hitting the lottery that we writers all play CAN and DOES happen. But I was also saddened. What if she would have given up? What if she didn’t have the determination, bordering on obsession, to get her story published? The world would have missed out on an really good book. And Ms. Stockett would have been one more disillusioned writer.
I wonder how many times writers may have given up too early. Either on a story or on our dreams in general. Ms. Stockett’s story isn’t the only one out there like this. Many writers had to query dozens of times to hit that one agent/editor willing to take a chance on them or saw the gold that none of the others did hiding within the pages. How many HARRY POTTERs or TWILIGHTs or THE HELPs are languishing out there on a hard drive or in a drawer because the writer gave up at rejection number 10 when query number 11 would have sent them to the stratosphere? Or gave up at rejection 100 when 101 would have been the winning number?
Rejection may not be easy. But that too takes some crazy, stubborn obsession to shrug off. And just remember if you don’t query and keep querying, if you don’t keep trying—no matter what you want to accomplish—you never will.
NEVER GIVE UP!