February 29, 2012


I’m celebrating today. A friend who has been shopping her first novel around for a couple of years has finally been given a contract. The publisher is a small, Independent company but the terms look decent. I’m sure she’s going to sign.  Yeah!

I take some small responsibility for her success because there was a time when she thought about giving up. “Why should you?” I cried. “It costs nothing to e-mail a query.”

“That’s true,” she agreed. But I could see cost wasn’t the issue. Her ego had been dented a time too many. Well, I can identify with that. We all can. Life has a habit of kicking us in the shins when we least expect it. But I had faith in my friend.  After all, she has a Ph.D in literature. She knows how to put a sentence together.

(illustration by Arthur Racham)

I gave her my pep talk, the one that I’ve recounted more than once on this blog.  The reasons for rejections are many and varied and rarely personal. She needed to have faith in herself and her work. “Try again,” I insisted.

Happily, she did and today she is about to be a published author. 

I’m not surprised. Experience has taught me that victory doesn’t always go to the most talented or beautiful or to the one with the most brains. As Aesop’s fable about the tortoise and the hare shows, the winner is usually the one who persists.