No. No. No. A thousand times no.
Not even 38 times no.
Gone with the Wind was never rejected.
Not even once.
In fact, the publisher's representative in Atlanta all but begged Margaret Mitchell to submit. Editor Harold Latham had been sent by Macmillan Publishers to find stories to publish. A mutual acquaintance suggested Mitchell's manuscript.
She consistently refused until the evening the rep was catching a train out of town.
She caved, but not before rewriting the first chapter that same evening and then handing him the pages.
This famous rejection myth makes the rounds all the time. It irks me no end.
The real story is found in Road To Tara: the Life of Margaret Mitchell
by Anne Edwards. (Hardcover. Tickner & Fields, 1983)
Of course the point of the false repeated rejection story is to keep trying, and to not take multiple rejections for an answer.
This is true and right and correct. If we listened to rejection we'd never get anything done.
But there are plenty of real life examples of perserverance without have to resort to lies to make a point, and that's the irky bit for me.
This post won't stop this lying nonsense, but at least I won't be perpetuating it.