I am curious about people. I love to lurk among authors and agents blogs. I love to analyse the life changing moments of people, especially those who are unaware of those moments. I am looking at things they may not know, yet i can single them out and say, there it is.
For some authors, that moment is rejection. I may be at odds with this, but I feel sad when I see people fall over something they have randomly assigned themselves as a measure of failure. I see on many blogs a count. It is interesting, but means nothing, unless they allow it to swallow them. Some events are not controllable. Death and illness strike without choice, but other things are gathered by the victim. Rejection letters are one of those things that I don't care about.
I have lurked for some time on a few peoples blog. I am just learning to blog myself, so had little to give them back, until now. One story that I find sweetly disarming is that of a young writer who is now on the bestseller legend list. She was so discouraged from time to time. Yet the moment that her life changed was almost without fanfare. She had a friend who kindly put a copy of her book on the desk of a huge agent. Her comment was.. Whatever. She commented on her dozens of rejections at length, but this was almost a non-event to her mind. That moment would change everything, but she didn't expect it, so she didn't have the trauma of imagined loss. (congrats again on the birth of Gwen if you should ever wander over here)
I find her moment so inspiring. Yes, she ended up noticed because she had a friend. She would have ended up noticed anyway. She gave her very best and over 100 times it was not good enough. She was not insane with self defeat, yet it did bother her. Her moment had already been put in motion, yet she allowed herself the trauma of being told no way....no thanks....no deal. It was not a bad thing that she did that. It made her tougher. It made her better.
Another story is of an agent who has to hand carry (in high heels rubbing blisters) a novel she liked to publishers for her very first sale. She had been told no, but believed. It was the wrong sort of book. It was trash. It was beneath dignity.
It sold. It made lots of money. Her genius was to become legend. I think of the scared person who probably doesn't tell the whole story. As I watch her walk the New York streets that day in my mind, I see the strength it took to stomp on those tears and blisters. I see someone who lasted just long enough to make that successful call. That is the moment, not the yes. The moment of inside glory, that changed it all, is what I like.