To be a writer is to contend with rejection. If you’re brave enough to stick your neck out, that is. That’s why I love this story: The day after novelist Laila Lalami posted the rejection letter she received from the MacDowell Colony, adding that it seemed she was receiving many rejections of late, it was announced that her book Secret Son had been longlisted for the Orange Prize.

In The Resilient Writer, a collection of interviews with 23 writers talking about the experience of rejection—and moving beyond it—the late novelist Frederick Busch is asked, “Besides rejection, what are some of your biggest challenges as a writer?” He says, “Demanding of myself that I show up for work every day and write the best I can; not giving in to sorrow or eagerness or haste or fear, not being afraid of the subject matter or the linguistic effort or the structure I’m trying to arrive at; and writing the book I want to write—not the book I think a book club or a movie director will want.”

It’s good to know I’m not alone.

Advertisements