Lemons, Lemonade

June 1st, 2005 · 2 Comments
by Booksquare

Though many of us have achieved proficiency in the art of rejection (that is, the art of being rejected), few of us can claim the title “Rejexpert.” Actually, as far as we know, only Cathy Wald has worn the crown. Not that she planned her life that way; things have a funny way of working out. Sure she could have sulked over her stack o’letters, but why do that when you can use them to your advantage?

Her book The Resilient Writer practically wrote itself (thanks to the fact that finding an author without a rejection story is almost impossible), but then came the hard part:

Researching and writing The Resilient Writer was really the easiest part of the process. It wasn’t hard to find authors to interview: In fact I initially had 26 people, but I had to cut three for space purposes. (Imagine having to reject someone from a book about rejection!) I found that most writers, especially famous writers, have tales of rejection. And they’re usually happy to talk about rejection, because they understand that other writers need to hear their stories.

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs

2 responses so far ↓

  • Joan Kelly // Jun 2, 2005 at 12:44 am

    Thanks for posting this, I love when writers talk about rejection, whether they’re famous and considered traditionally successful or not.

    Speaking of the neither famous nor traditionally successful, my own favorite ever rejection experience came in the middle of having a book turned down by every mainstream publisher that my agent and others thought would sweep me off my feet. After about a month of no’s, some outright hostile because of the material, I received a rejection letter in the mail…from an editor I had not even submitted my proposal to. (It was, obviously, a clerical mistake on their end, but was the best laugh I had all fucking month.) Sorry, can I say the f-word on here?


  • Booksquare // Jun 3, 2005 at 8:28 am

    I believe the f-word is acceptable as it cleared the extensive Booksquare filtering process.

    I believe what you received is known as a pre-emptive rejection. Editors must do several of these per year to prevent something-or-other. It’s good that they do because it puts the whole rejection thing in perspective — it’s truly them, not you!

    And you were, eventually, invited to the dance!