Years ago as a nine year old I decided to send a poem to a local newspaper and waited day after day for the postman. One day he did come and with him a letter. I eagerly opened it and found a note from the editor telling me my poem was not going to be printed, but I treasured that note; to me an editor was like a god and he'd actually deigned to write to me! Even if it was just a rejection slip!           

History is replete with examples of writing that was rejected time and again that finally made the best sellers list, and it is with such tales ringing in our ears that we hacks plod on everyday, wielding the pen and hoping our stuff will one day not return with tell tale rejection slip but with payment cheque!

Once a famous editor George Horace Lorimer sent back a manuscript to an author hopeful. She retorted: "Last week you rejected my story. I know you did not read it, for, as a test, I pasted together pages,15, 16,17 and 18, and the manuscript came back with the pages still stuck. You are a fraud, you reject stories you haven't even read!"

Lorimer wrote back, "Dear Madam, at breakfast when I open an egg, I don't have to eat the whole egg to discover it's bad..!"

Another author received the following glorious rejection slip from a Chinese firm: "We read your manuscript with boundless delight. By the sacred ashes of our ancestors we swear that we have never dipped into a book of such overwhelming mastery."

"If we were to publish this book it would be impossible in the future to issue any book of a lower standard. As it is unthinkable that within the next 10,000 years we shall find its equal, we are, to our great regret, compelled to return this too divine a work and beg you a thousand times to forgive our action..!"

That's quite some rejection isn't it where the author wouldn't have known to laugh or cry!

A woman once submitted several chapters and an outline of a romantic novel to a publisher and awaited word in vain from the editor for several weeks. Finally she wired: "Please report on my story immediately as I have other irons in the fire."

Prompt came the reply: "We have considered your story and advice you to put it with the other irons..!"  

And here's one for all you aspiring writers who are fed up with life after facing too much rejection: An American writer named John Kennedy Toole wrote a comic novel about life in New Orleans called 'A Confederacy of Dunces.' It was so relentlessly rejected by publishers, that he killed himself. That was in 1969.

His mother refused to give up on the book. She sent it out and got it back, rejected, over and over again. At last she won the patronage of Walker Percy who got it accepted by Louisiana State University Press, and in 1980 it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction! 

'Lust for life' by Irwin Stone was turned down by seventeen publishers; 'The Ginger Man' by A P Donleavy was refused by sixteen American and ten British publishing houses; 'The Good Earth' by Pearl Buck was declined more than a dozen times. But all of them turned out to be best sellers!

So rejection doesn't mean the end of the road, but should be the beginning of a determined, single minded, resolute journey till you finally taste ah the sweet, sweet nectar of success..!

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