Monday, September 15, 2008

The Mental Edge by Kenneth Baum and Other Resources for Writers

A hazard of the trade: publish a book and you'll be inundated with... no, not so many fan letters... questions from wannabe published writers and wannabe better published writers. But I view this as a bodacious opportunity for good karma, because however things may (or may not) appear, we're all in the same pond. That said, it's not possible for me to answer every e-mail individually. Voila: my website's Resources for Writers page. (The oldie but goodie is The 3 Questions I am Most Frequently Asked About the Writing Business.) This morning I got yet another e-mail from a writer asking my advice on how to cope with rejection. Herewith my answer:
No writer, including a Nobel Prize winner, escapes rejection. Perhaps a university does not want to pay her fee for a commencement speech. Perhaps an influential critic loudly asserts that another writer should have taken the prize. Perhaps his difficult new book of poetry is turned down by three different publishers for translation rights. Certainly, billions of people on Planet Earth do not and will never read even one of the Nobel Prize winner's books. In sum, there's no avoiding rejection completely. So unless you want to be miserable and miserable to be around, if you want to write and publish what you write, you have to learn to cope with it. I have found some of the literature on sports psychology most helpful, and warmly recommend The Mental Edge: Maximize Your Sports Potential with the Mind-Body Connection by Kenneth Baum with Richard Trubo. Also, all of the books on my list of Recommended Books on the Creative Life address rejection, among other subjects.

More anon. But not on rejection.