Friday, January 20, 2012

Sweet Sting of Rejection

In the midst of a seemingly endless supply of  rejection letters, it is easy to forget it happens to the best of us.
Spotting real talent seems to be a rare gift  indeed, and the truly original material is frowned upon. After all, different scares us, takes us to the uncomfortable zone- new is strange and unknown. Risky. And in business, risks are to be controlled. Familiar is often the safe bet. Let´s take a look at some of the famous rejection letters received by our very best. Luckily for us, they did not stop writing or listen to the (bad) advice.

Ursula K. Le Guin went on to publish a wide variety of books, essays, short stories and poetry, especially in the genre of science fiction and fantasy. She has collected five Hugo-awards and six Nebula-awards, and a plethora of other recognitions.

The rebellious American Gonzo-journalist Hunter S. Thompson ( 1937-2005) did not take criticism well. This is the letter he sent to his own biographer, William McKeen in 1991. "The Outlaw Journalist" on Thompson ended up being published anyways, in 2008, and gained notable praise.

Tim Burton was young and eager to get published. But his good attempt of a children´s book did not quite pass the par. Disney considered his creation too derivative. Later he went on to direct such masterpieces as
"Beetlejuice", "Nightmare before Christmas" and "Sleepy Hollow". Maybe Disney just was not ready for his colorfully macabre style back in 1976.

Although we do not have the words to look at, one quite well-known writer to receive harsh rejection letters was a British lady by the name of J. K. Rowling. She was even advised to get a day job, since "children´s books do not sell well". Her books series, depicting the adventures of Harry Potter, is now the best-selling in history.

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