A Woman's Guide To Everything: When's A Good Time To Give Up?
I just read an article written by Kathryn Stockett, author of 'The Help'. She talks about having her manuscript rejected by publishers 60 times before it was accepted on her 61st try. I also read many of the comments posted below the article. Some of the commenters thought the rejection story was a publicity stunt to generate more interest in the movie and the book. One thought that the rejections generated rewrites, and thus a better book. Someone else thought she should not have lied to people about what she was doing, when she was revising her book yet another time.
I tend to agree with that one; although if you just want to shut people up, and not be distracted by negative commentary, because it does sink into your subconscious, you lie to them. Just like you lied to your mother, when she asked what you were doing in the bathroom, and you said 'nothing'. What we wanted was a quiet place to ourselves for a few minutes, even as children. The point of the article in general, was that the author never gave up on her book, and she never gave up trying to get it published.
The article is an excellent lesson about pursuing something that makes you happy, and pursuing something in which you believe. Like mothers who won't give up on their children despite all indications that they are going to end up in rehab, prison, or dead, artists of all kinds imbue their art with the characteristics of a living thing. They devote all available hours to it's health and growth. It never seems to be 'done'; there is always another way to express the thought, another comma to be inserted, another brush stroke that better denotes the images you are trying to impart.
Some people may think the author should have just enjoyed the process of creating, and not worried about whether her book was ever published. Art is one-dimensional, existing only in the mind of the artist unless other people have the opportunity to construct meaning from it. I admire her tenacity, while wondering if I could be so persistent; however, lying to people about what I'm doing is no problem. I'm sure Michelangelo had to listen to the comments from friends and family; 'are you still hanging upside down painting that ceiling?'Continued on the next page