Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Feeling Rejected? Don't Be Dejected!

Author Madeleine L'Engle received two years' worth of rejections from 26 publishers for her novel A Wrinkle in Time, which, once it was finally published in 1962, went on to win major awards and be translated into more than a dozen languages.

Toward the end of that two-year period, L'Engle covered up her typewriter and decided to give up -- on A Wrinkle in Time and on writing. Then on her way downstairs, a revelation: an idea for a novel about failure. In a flash, she was back at the typewriter.

"That night," as she explained in April 1993 on the PBS documentary Madeleine L'Engle: Stargazer, "I wrote in my journal, 'I'm a writer. That's who I am. That's what I am. That's what I have to do -- even if I'm never, ever published again.' And I had to take seriously the fact that I might never, ever be published again. ... It's easy to say I'm a writer now, but I said it when it was hard to say. And I meant it."

Today, the bibliography on L'Engle's web site lists 62 works spanning the period from 1944 through 2005, plus a 63rd, published posthumously in 2008. Madeleine L'Engle died in September 2007.

"I cannot possibly tell you how I came to write A Wrinkle in Time," her New York Times obituary quotes her as having said. "It was simply a book I had to write. I had no choice."

~ Listen to the guided meditation, "You Are A Writer"

6 comments:

Jeremy (Thoughts On Quotes) said...

Thanks for sharing this information Mark. It goes to show that writers should never give up because opportunity (and inspiration) comes when you least expect it.

Mark David Gerson said...

Thanks, Jeremy. Madeleine L'Engle has been an inspiration to me on many fronts, including this one.

Sun Singer said...

Hard to imagine her giving up. Thank goodness she didn't.

Malcolm

Mark David Gerson said...

Amen!

Relax said...

Thanks. It's a great inspiration for me as a writer :)

Mark David Gerson said...

It's a great inspiration for us all....a reminder to hold the vision and never give up.