The value of persistence

IMG_20180420_072542So I’m posting here a photo of my Sir Julius Vogel award. It’s cool, and I guess I’m bragging a bit. But see those three folders underneath? Those are my rejection slips. You know, the letter you get from a publisher who for one reason or another isn’t taking your story. Gathered over more years than I care to admit.

I think there are about two thousand. I have a feeling I’ve lost some over the years.

Most of them are form rejections. Some are very nice personal rejections. One is a disappointingly rude personal rejection (I haven’t submitted to that magazine since).

And there, standing on the shoulders of all those rejections, is an award. To me this is the value of persistence. I mean this to be encouraging. Keep at it. Keep going. Pursue what you love doing. It’s not about the award (though that’s nice), it’s about loving doing it.

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2 thoughts on “The value of persistence

  1. Céline Malgen

    Great image! That’s very encouraging, so thanks for sharing it.

    It reminds me of an anecdote Stephen King reported in On Writing: he used to have a nail on a wall where he would put all the rejection letters he received. After a while, the nail couldn’t support the weight of all those rejection letters, so he had to put a spike instead. But he still continued writing. So if someone like Stephen King got so many rejection letters, it hammers in the point that even great writers get a lot of rejections at first and have to persist for a long time while developing their craft.

    And of course congratulations on the award, but even more than that, congratulations on your persistence!

    Reply

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