Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Rejection. Every writer experiences it regularly, but some cases of rejection are more painful than others. I applied for a residency that was perfectly designed for the novel I'm writing now. Much of the research I need to complete is in the institution that offers the residency. Let me tell you: I slaved over that application, slaved. I have never tried so hard to write anything as that huge application. But I found out yesterday that I didn't make it. And I really, really wanted it. I felt devastated for an hour, then depressed for all of last evening. This morning I did not even try to approach the manuscript, because I knew I needed to take care of the worst of the wound first. Plenty of time for writing tomorrow. I coped today by making "nests of productivity" in all the corners of the house where I work.

Somehow in my meanderings online this morning, I learned of a new book. Perhaps it's not new, just new in paper. It's exactly the solace and inspiration I need at this time. The Resilient Writer, edited by Catherine Wald. The cover says it's essays of rejection and triumph by 23 top writers, but the articles are really stories of tenacity. How does one persevere? I highly recommend it. Chris Bohjalian, Amy Tan, Wally Lamb--they're just a few of the writers included.

By the way, Catherine Wald is creator of the rejection collection Web site, well-worth a visit if you're in the mood.

1 Comments:

Blogger Larry T. said...

On rejection: When I was an undergraduate student at the University of Iowa T.C. Boyle, who was a grad assistant, had decorated the walls around his desk with hundreds of rejection slips and letters. He was just beginning to publish in the literary magazines at the time, but only with considerable persistence. Keep plugging.

4:19 PM  

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