While researching how many times popular novels have been rejected I came across an article on a website. The article was written by Kathryn Stockett, the author of The Help, about her determination through the process of writing and revising her novel.
Needless to say the article inspired me more than anything I have ever read in my life – so much so that I have repeatedly returned to website countless times just to read it again.
Every word she wrote and every thought she had in this article could be my own words and thoughts. I know exactly the feelings she felt through the process from the time she was thrilled about getting her first rejection, (I was too, though it did sting) to her nearly writing through the birth of her child (I can picture my nurse come October yelling at me to close the computer), to when she started lying to people about what she was doing because she didn’t want them to know she was still working on the same story.
I began writing my manuscript on September 18, 2009 and in just a little over thirty days it will be my three-year anniversary. Three years and yet again I am in revision mode, starting all over again.
Before coming across this article I most likely….oh who am I kidding…without a doubt would have been a panicked, frustrated, and inconsolable person over the fact that I was starting over again. Especially after believing for months that I was finished and submitting to agents and publishers. I know because I went through it at year one and year two.
Knowing that a woman kept plugging along with her book for six years making it better time after time and now not only has a published book but also a movie based upon her book, has given me a new outlook on not only the time this novel is taking me but the revision process too.
Each time my manuscript is only getting better and better.
One comment she made in the article hit home for me more than any other part, though. Her thoughts regarding when people suggested another book would perhaps make it. “I wanted to write this book,” she says. And I know exactly how she feels. A few times I have had friends suggest to me that I take a break with The Woman on the Painted Horse and work on another book. I know their suggestions come from concern or thinking that it would help me, but in all honesty no matter how much it’s suggested, I’m not going to do it. I want to write this book. Period.
And because of that I’m going to do exactly what she did. Never give up and just keep revising and submitting until I receive that one “yes” – even if it takes me six long years and sixty rejections.