Thursday, August 11, 2011

Magic Number 61.

I think it was my friend Miss Adun that had told me to add to my reading list "The Help" just before i started seeing the trailer for the movie on Tv. I didn't get around to it on time, i wasn't ready to part with ten dollars to get it on Kindle. 2 weeks ago, i go to school and there it was for free, ope o, i was elated. Still i didn't get around to reading it until today.

I tweeted this earlier : "The Help goes on my list of favorite books ever & I'm not even halfway through. Omg I'm laughing & crying & howling with every page". I also tweeted this: "I wanna be a writer someday when I grow up. I hope I'm this amazing"

Well fast forward a couple hours later and i'm reading everything yahoo, like i always do and i peep the following headline "Kathryn Stockett's 'The Help' Turned Down 60 Times Before Becoming a Best Seller". 

60 times. Can you imagine it guys? 60 times. Of course she's amazing, this is the kinda stuff that makes for an amazing writer. Its a lie, me i would have given up by the 10th time. My heart is too fragile. Its everything in me right now, to not freak out and be depressed and in tears all day just waiting for this folks to call me back and say yay or nay.

So i just had to copy and paste and have you guys read this yourself and know that persistence pays off, be patient and work on your dreams. I will tell you to go on about your other business o, because it sounds like her husband was well off and could take care of them so no wahala. If you are like me with no source of income, you obviously cannot be stuck on just one thing all together, but never let go of it, continue to work on it while you are working that odd job and i pray God sees us through.

Read excerpt below:

If you ask my husband my best trait, he’ll smile and say, “She never gives up.” But if you ask him my worst trait, he’ll get a funny tic in his cheek, narrow his eyes and hiss, “She. Never. Gives. Up.”

It took me a year and a half to write my earliest version of The Help. I’d told most of my friends and family what I was working on. Why not? We are compelled to talk about our passions. When I’d polished my story, I announced it was done and mailed it to a literary agent.

Six weeks later, I received a rejection letter from the agent, stating, “Story did not sustain my interest.” I was thrilled! I called my friends and told them I’d gotten my first rejection! Right away, I went back to editing. I was sure I could make the story tenser, more riveting, better.

A few months later, I sent it to a few more agents. And received a few more rejections. Well, more like 15. I was a little less giddy this time, but I kept my chin up. “Maybe the next book will be the one,” a friend said. Next book? I wasn’t about to move on to the next one just because of a few stupid letters. I wanted to write this book.

A year and a half later, I opened my 40th rejection: “There is no market for this kind of tiring writing.” That one finally made me cry. “You have so much resolve, Kathryn,” a friend said to me. “How do you keep yourself from feeling like this has been just a huge waste of your time?”

That was a hard weekend. I spent it in pajamas, slothing around that racetrack of self-pity—you know the one, from sofa to chair to bed to refrigerator, starting over again on the sofa. But I couldn’t let go of The Help. Call it tenacity, call it resolve or call it what my husband calls it: stubbornness.

After rejection number 40, I started lying to my friends about what I did on the weekends. They were amazed by how many times a person could repaint her apartment. The truth was, I was embarrassed for my friends and family to know I was still working on the same story, the one nobody apparently wanted to read.

Sometimes I’d go to literary conferences, just to be around other writers trying to get published. I’d inevitably meet some successful writer who’d tell me, “Just keep at it. I received 14 rejections before I finally got an agent. Fourteen. How many have you gotten?”

By rejection number 45, I was truly neurotic. It was all I could think about—revising the book, making it better, getting an agent, getting it published. I insisted on rewriting the last chapter an hour before I was due at the hospital to give birth to my daughter. I would not go to the hospital until I’d typed The End. I was still poring over my research in my hospital room when the nurse looked at me like I wasn’t human and said in a New Jersey accent, “Put the book down, you nut job—you’re crowning.”

It got worse. I started lying to my husband. It was as if I were having an affair—with 10 black maids and a skinny white girl. After my daughter was born, I began sneaking off to hotels on the weekends to get in a few hours of writing. I’m off to the Poconos! Off on a girls’ weekend! I’d say. Meanwhile, I’d be at the Comfort Inn around the corner. It was an awful way to act, but—for God’s sake—I could not make myself give up.

In the end, I received 60 rejections forThe Help. But letter number 61 was the one that accepted me. After my five years of writing and three and a half years of rejection, an agent named Susan Ramer took pity on me. What if I had given up at 15? Or 40? Or even 60? Three weeks later, Susan sold The Help to Amy Einhorn Books.

The point is, I can’t tell you how to succeed. But I can tell you how not to: Give in to the shame of being rejected and put your manuscript—or painting, song, voice, dance moves, [insert passion here]—in the coffin that is your bedside drawer and close it for good. I guarantee you that it won’t take you anywhere. Or you could do what this writer did: Give in to your obsession instead.

And if your friends make fun of you for chasing your dream, remember—just lie.

The article was written by Kathryn Stockett.

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I think the movie will be amazing as well. I cannot wait to finish the book and i'm going to see the movie with the best friend next week.

See you guys tomorrow. After you have read Franque's post on 360Nobs of course. That dude can tell a tale. 

P.S I Love You

12 comments:

  1. Nice. let me go apply for jobs then. i have lost count of my rejection letters. Those things hurt like shege.

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  2. I saw this article earlier after someone else blogged about it. So encouraging. May God give us the strength to persist. We're also seeing the movie, I didn't read the book.

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  3. Wow so inspirational...thanks for sharing!!!!

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  4. I saw this article and thought how easily most of us give up. Inspiring. thanks for sharing...

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  5. Thanks for sharing sweets.

    This definitely put a little pep in my step.

    Nice...

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  6. Neefemi! Didn't you see my msg, hmmmm. Plus you're still on twitter so accept my request so I can send you a dm. Apart from that, what's the help about? I read the yahoo article too and it was interesting, she described the emotional pain well sha. So I am happy for her success. Soooooo how are you? Now go and do the right thing, accept me on twitter. After like you said, franque's post of course!

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  7. Hmmmm,going to WHSMith today cos finished current read, "Men from boys"-Tony Parson (not bad).If The Help's on discount,i'll take ur word for it!

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  8. The power to persevere is a true gift, I am sure all the people that rejected her are unhappy now. We just have to be the best at what we do and do it well, some day a break will come.

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  9. WOW!!! This is totally inspiring! I need to persevere like this too and harden my heart a bit more X_x *whimper*

    Adiya
    Muse Origins Features
    Muse Origins

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  10. Okay, e don do. I have heard so much about this book, I am going to have to buy it. Like you, I don't have $10 for the Kindle version so I'll look for a second hand copy on Amazon.

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  11. @Taynement - Lol, tell me about it

    @Myne - Amen o. Did you like the movie? I hated it.

    @Blessing - You welcome :)

    @Etoile - I know right. You welcome ;)

    @Shade - You welcome love. I'm glad.

    @Miss Natural - Lol, i'm just glad we have cleared up the twitter issue. I'm good my dear :)

    @doll - You welcome ;)

    @T.Notes - Will check online for that too. So did you get it?

    @9jafoodie - Amen for us all o. Its def not easy, but by God's grace.

    @Adiya - lol, me and you both. Hugs

    @Natural - Lol, i hope you enjoyed it.

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