1. Rejection shouldn’t stop you.
It’s one thing to know that famous writers got rejected; it’s another to actually see the letters. At Jack London State Historic Park, for example, you can view some of the more than 600 rejection letters London amassed throughout his career. Each one basically says the same thing that rejections say today: “Thanks for your submission, but we can’t use it at this time.” London persevered and went on to become the highest-paid writer of his day.
Other writers were more sensitive to rejection. At Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthplace in Salem, Mass., I learned how young Hawthorne would write for hours upstairs in the family home, venturing out only to walk the streets at night. When his first short-story collection, Seven Tales of My Native Land, was rejected, he is said to have burned the manuscript.
No matter how the literary greats dealt with rejection, it’s reassuring to know they experienced it, too—and kept writing anyway.