Kurt Vonnegut’s rejections
The New York Times reported on a new Kurt Vonnegut library that’s going to open in Indianapolis in the fall, and my favorite part of the article is a quote from his oldest daughter, Edie Vonnegut, who said, “We have boxes of rejection letters, letters saying, ‘You have no talent and we suggest you give up writing.'”
Now, don’t get me wrong — I don’t revel in the rejections great writers have suffered through. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. But, knowing that if a writer as a great as Vonnegut can get rejections like that, rise above them and continue to pursue writing — and be successful at it — that’s inspirational.
Rejections are difficult to deal with, but it’s part of the business, and not personal — even though it feels personal, it’s not.
Rejections are also nothing that should stop us from writing and pursuing publication. A rejection is simply one person saying no; there will be others, but there also will be plenty of people who will say yes.
Like Edie says in the article: “He did not have an easy time of it, and I think anyone who wants to be a writer, it will be important for them to see how tough it was for him.”
It Vonnegut could do it, we can do it. Thank you, Kurt.