Never give up. Believe me when I tell you rejection is an imperative test of one’s character. Many of us continually submit the same manuscript until it is accepted. The stress of that idiotic endeavor wholly stifling a writer’s would-be career because during this deep-dive into the abyss of the literary rabbit hole, nothing else matters. Absolutely nothing. Neither reading endlessly, which is any writers North Star or writing the stories that could have been written. Some also choose to do a more polished draft before sending it out again. Only a select few, however, will learn from their lessons of submissions, to write a completely new book or to rewrite, as many times as necessary, the promising manuscript that continues to be rejected. What they all have in common is a persistence to never give up on their dream; a dream that has elevated them from writer to best-selling author.

We, bibliophiles, know these authors; their stories and characters very well. They have written some of the most critically praised and commercially successful books of all time. In some cases, their enormous sales were so consistent that they even kept their publishers afloat. Yet in spite of this phenomenal success, every single one of these best-selling authors was initially rejected. Literary agents and publishers informed them in an endless stream of rejection letters that nobody would be interested in reading their book.

Don’t seek to limit yourselves by believing the traditional publishing industry is a bridge only a select few are privy to cross. With persistence, a true belief in the power of your words, a broad knowledge of the industry itself, a bit of innovative strategy, and a hell of a lot of luck; you’ll eventually see that silver lining by which to exploit in order to get your ass on and to the other side of that bridge. And when you get there, never forget where you once were. Through your example, let everyone know why we love the written word. Why we write. Why we put ink to paper. Why we dare to proclaim ourselves storytellers in a world where books and reading are damn near second to the moving story. Why we covertly, overtly, and strategically attempt to journey all back to a time when the imagination was our collective muse.

Books are inanimate objects and only animate when a reader lightly peels back that first page and allows the story to unfold—lighting a robust fire under the ass of a reader’s dormant imagination. We are authors! We were once gods of villages at a time children and elders, nightly, sat at our feet anxious to lend an ear to our words. Let them know that supporting our efforts in every way is a noble undertaking. That modern-day entertainment in and of itself wouldn’t amount to shit without the ink we use to paint the picture. Again, never give up!

STEPHEN KING’S FIRST EDITOR AND PUBLISHER – MICHAEL GARRETT

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