Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gone With The Rejection Lie

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.


Virginia Lee said...

Amen. xo

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, VL.

the Bag Lady said...

I had no idea that story was false. Thanks for clearing that up!

Leah J. Utas said...

My pleasure, Bag Lady.

Chris said...

I didn't know it was false either. Interesting.

Leah J. Utas said...

Chris, if I hadn't read Road To Tara I would never have known.

solarity said...

And let us remember she never wrote anything else. Maybe rejections are like vitamins.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

messymimi said...

Dr. Seuss admitted that his first manuscript was rejected a few times, too, but not nearly the number that is often purported. Amazing how these stories grow and take on a life of their own.

Hilary said...

Well, I'd never heard that rejection myth. Now, I just won't believe it if I do. I'll think... "Frankly, my dear..." ;)

Frank Baron said...

I think John O'Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces is the classic book-rejection story.