My mate Trevor Romain has got himself in the papers again.
He began writing for children, only to be met with hundreds of rejections. Rejection, however, was something that he had grown accustomed to throughout his life. As a child he was singled out because he preferred writing and art over sports. He struggled with dyslexia and would sketch to help himself remember things. At age 12, he tried to go to art school but was told that he wasn’t talented enough; he received the same reception when he tried again as a teenager. The disappointment led him to stop drawing until he was an adult. Twenty years after that first round of rejections, Romain has 1 million copies of his books in print in 17 languages.
I got the amazing (and very welcome) opportunity to spend time with Trevor and his wife, Amiel, late last year. Trevor and I got to talking about the creative process, and the pain of rejection. He laughed and said, ‘Oh you should see all my rejection letters.’
Trevor grabbed a bulging folder, replete with paper. Rejection letters, snotty tones – (and this for books that went on to be printed in the millions). Hilarity ensued. Fear of rejection gone.