I was watching an interview between John Bishop and James Corden recently, when James said something that struck a chord with me. In fact, it should strike a chord with virtually every writer out there who has attempted the usually soul destroying task of trying to find a publisher through the traditional route.
He said ‘The only thing that separates an amateur and a professional is rejection, when you are either told you are too fat or your ears are too big.’ Now, while most writers are not rejected based on their looks, this can be put into the context of their writing; whether it is the style, the subject, or (more often than we realise) that we are not well known enough.
I guess that really, this is a prejudice that can be levelled at any profession and the universal need to overcome this rejection in order to make a name for oneself. It just seems that writers are more likely to take rejection to heart and give up on their endeaours. (I should point out that this is based on my own experience; I would imagine that whtever industry you’re in, you will notice rejection more there than others.)
When I was looking for a publisher for my first book, I hit loads of rejection. At the time, I was new to the industry and had heard that rejection was just part and parcel when it came to getting published. So I went in ready for the worst, even if I wasn’t battle-hardened yet. After around 30 rejections, I still was not disheartened (Possibly due to being naïve …?) However, that was the time that I decided to go self-published.
I cannot deny that this is an interesting philosophy that James Corden put across, and it will make me think very seriously about rejections and the way that I deal with them in the future though.