Was sitting in one of my writing classes recently, a class being led by a real-life, accomplished novel-writer. She has an agent, a publisher with a promotion budget for her work and she got an advance for her published book, which was short and long-listed for a number of respectable prizes.
She was talking about her current project – a script for a comedy series, being worked on in partnership with a no-less-accomplished writer-friend. While making a point about the new project, she mentioned that it was currently doing the rounds of producers, and, as always, the rejections were coming in. She then joked that rejections were part of the terrain and to be expected.
I didn’t hear too much of anything after ‘the rejections (are) coming in’. I was surprised at the revelation that the journey doesn’t get much easier even after publication of a book that, by most standards, was a resounding success. In the writing career of my imagination, the publication of a book like the one this writer had produced was a ticket to higher and easier ground. ….. agents with the ability to secure future book deals on the basis of the success of the last book alone, booming sales figures, and invitations to participate in lucrative projects. Surely rejections become a thing of the past after the first big success?
Apart from reminding me that any writer seeking publication is a type of mad-person, her delivery also emphasized for me that one of the achievements every writer should probably go after is the grace and resilience to face each new ‘no’ with the continued pursuit of the one yes that changes everything.