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Do ya feel lucky, punk? Well, do ya?

Friday the 13th, but I'd have to say I do feel lucky. My heart sank when I visited the collision center yard the other day and saw the mutilated remains of poor Spiffy da Boxcar. But then I noticed the damage ended just a few inches shy of the area where my backside was situated at the time of the accident. I was lucky to walk away with a few bruises and a stiff case of whiplash.

I've had a frustrating first quarter, but I just spent a few minutes answering email from a couple aspiring authors who are struggling to break into print.

"I've been incredibly lucky," I had to admit. "Even though it doesn't feel like it all the time."

I was lucky all those big NY agents rejected me. I was better off starting out at that little one-man operation in Dallas. I was lucky to be rejected by...well, the dozens of publishers who turned down my first novel. I eventually found my way to a tiny press where a wonderful editor took the time to educate and nurture me. I can look back now and see all those rejections as the stepping stones they actually were -- even though every single one felt like a boot to the head.

Yeah, getting rejected is almost as much fun as getting T-boned at an intersection. But as long as you walk away with your ass intact, you're doing all right.

(This awesome Dirty Harry image was made by uziel3 and posted in the Worth 1000 "Where Are My Pants?" gallery.)


You make a good point here. I think a great many authors later feel grateful that their early work wasn't published (or published in a big way). Few are ready for it right out of the gate, and there are many good reasons the publishing industry has gatekeepers, not the least of which may be from keep "unripened" talent from hitting the shelves with a product that could cut short what might otherwise become a stellar career.

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