I thought delays and drama had singled me out. Until Danielle LaPorte & I started the Beautiful Writers Podcast, and I learned of the unexpected setbacks many bestselling authors faced.
💚 Steven Pressfield wrote for seventeen years before he sold a single piece.
💜 Seth Godin sent queries for hundreds of book ideas in one year—and was rejected by thirty publishers, twenty-five or so times each.
💚 Martha Beck was finishing her doctorate at Harvard with severe fibromyalgia, making it impossible for her to write or use her hands most of the time.
💜 Jillian Lauren claimed she’d kill herself if her first novel was rejected. It was. Thankfully, she didn’t.
Who knew? If I’d been privy to their hardships, could I have jump-started my own writing journey? Taken a few shortcuts and saved myself some psychic pain? Surely someone must have compiled all those “best practices” before, right?
I’d scan the shelves and ask every clerk during my visits to Vroman’s, Barnes & Noble, or the Bodhi Tree Bookstore, but I never found the perfect guide. I’d get to the last page of a memoir or writing book, and, though I loved 95 percent of what I read, I’d think, But where are the messy-middle details? Where are the stories about the things I’m experiencing? From that curtailed perspective, it seemed like success came too fast for the writers of these books. The authors were struggling, and then, boom! They weren’t. Success! Whaaat?
Toni Morrison said: “If you find a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Beautiful Writers is the book I wanted then and now. Because when those setbacks come, even today, I turn to the greats to remind me I’m never alone.
Carry on. Write on!