Never Give Up


Advice from the best

When asked what she wished she’d known when she’d first started out as a writer, novelist and essayist Anne Enright said, ‘I wish I had known that, over the distance, talent is as nothing compared to tenacity.’ (Sunday Times interview).

This chimed with something I read by Linda Green on Twitter this week:

15 years ago, after receiving one of my 102 agent rejections for my 1st novel, I burst into tears in WHSmith, fearing I may never see my books there. Today, my 9th novel, The Last Thing She Told Me, has been announced as a @WHSmith Richard and Judy Book Club Pick. Never. Give. Up.

I’ve mentioned this before but I think it’s worth noting again. In February 1918, the American novelist F.Scott Fitzgerald submitted the first full draft of his first novel to a publisher, only to have it rejected. In October of 1918, he submitted a revised version to the publisher. It was rejected again. Finally, the third version was accepted and published.

The novel, entitled This Side of Paradise, made Fitzgerald a literary celebrity before his twenty-fourth birthday. The book sold out in twenty-four hours and would go on to sell more than 49,000 copies by the end of 1921, just after its twelfth printing. If Fitzgerald had given up at the first rejection we’d never have had The Great Gatsby, The Last Tycoon or Tender is the Night.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill: Never give up. Never give up. Never, never, never, never-

You never know what might be just round the corner…