"Rejections can cause four distinct psychological wounds, the severity of which depends on the situation and our emotional health at the time. Specifically, rejections elicit emotional pain so sharp it affects our thinking, floods us with anger, erodes our confidence and self-esteem, and destabilizes our fundamental feeling of belonging.
— Guy Winch, Ph.D., from Emotional First Aid (via Salon)
"Feel glum over oodles of rejection letters? Please note that the examples below are often referenced and we’ve done quite a lot of research, but as with so many things, there’s always a chance for error. Do not cite this article for your academic thesis! Go to the original sources.
- John Grisham’s first novel was rejected 25 times.
- Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) received 134 rejections.
- Beatrix Potter had so much trouble publishing The Tale of Peter Rabbit, she initially had to self-publish it.
- Robert Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) received 121 rejections before it was published and went on to become a best seller.
- Gertrude Stein spent 22 years submitting before getting a single poem accepted.
- Judy Blume, beloved by children everywhere, received rejections for two straight years.
- Madeline L’Engle received 26 rejections before getting A Wrinkle in Time published—which went on to win the Newberry Medal and become one of the best-selling children’s books of all time.
- Frank Herbert’s Dune was rejected 20 times before being published and becoming a cult classic.
- Stephen King received dozens of rejections for Carrie before it was published (and made into a movie!).
- James Lee Burke’s novel The Lost Get-Back Boogie was rejected 111 times over a period of nine years and, upon its publication by Louisiana State University Press in 1986, was nominate for a Pulitzer Prize."
— Writer's Relief
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