This person found my statement so disheartening they felt they should stop writing altogether. I must confess, I was taken aback by this sweeping statement. Why should someone be disheartened by such a comment? Don’t people already know this?
If a writer expects to succeed immediately, I would suggest they need to think again. The very act of writing is a lengthy process, even if you can devote your full attention to it, and most of us need to have day jobs as well. I have been working on my current WIP since January 2008. Granted, there was a long time in there when I did nothing, but if we break it down into actual active time it looks something like this:
• Four months to write a first draft and revise;
- John Grisham’s ‘A Time To Kill’ - rejected 45 times;
- Dr. Seuss - rejected 46 times;
- Tom Clancy’s ‘The Hunt For Red October’ - rejected 12 times;
- Patricia Cornwell’s ‘Postmortem’ - rejected 7 times;
- Mary Higgins Clark’s ‘First Story’ - rejected 40 times;
- William Stevenson’s 80’s bestselling thriller, ‘A Man Called Intrepid’ - rejected 109 times; and
- James Lee Burke’s ‘The Lost Get-Back Bookie’ - rejected 111 times over a period of nine years, and upon publication was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and won the Edgar.
If it took these authors this long and this many rejections to be published, then why should anyone expect to pick up a pen and immediately be worthy?