Monday, January 9, 2012

What I've learned from Kathryn Stockett

I wrote my first novel from the point of view of a poor African woman.  After I wrote it and started submitting it to publishers, I realized it might be a problem that I'm a white American and my character is black African.  Shortly after making this realization, I gave up submitting my manuscript.

When I read The Help, I was amazed to discover that Kathryn Stockett had accomplished what I thought was impossible--publishing a book written from another's race's point of view.  She admits in a Deseret News article, "I got 60 rejections for 'The Help,' and number 61 was the one that finally was willing to take a chance.  Just keep pushing and don't give up--because you won't get anywhere if you do!

"It sounds kind of cliche but when I was growing up there were a couple of very strong women in my life that made sure I understood that If I gave up, that was it--that I had to be tenacious and keep trying and that, most importantly, I deserved to reach my dream."

Very inspiring, don't you think?  So here's the first thing I've learned from Kathryn Stockett:  Don't give up.

Though Kathryn's excited to reach her goal, she admits that it's taken a toll on her relationships.  She had to file for divorce last June.  Though I'm pretty sure I'll never be as successful as Kathryn Stockett, I've noticed that writing can take over my life in ways I never thought it could.

So here's the second thing I've learned from Kathryn Stockett:  Don't let your dreams take over your family.

3 comments:

  1. I love those lessions learned! It is so easy to give up after rejections, so I love to hear those stories about people that just kept on trying and made it.

    Our families really are the most important things, aren't they?

    ReplyDelete
  2. No doubt. I have found myself taking far too much time away from family when I get a little obsessed with drafting. I read that Miss Stockett would fibb to her husband saying she was going out of town for work or something, and then go get a hotel in town just to write. Crazy! I wouldn't do that. I would dream about it. But what I do it? Well, maybe. It sounds awesome:).

    ReplyDelete
  3. 60 rejections. Wow. So glad she didn't give up. It is inspiring to hear writers overcoming the odds.

    ReplyDelete