For my birthday, a good friend gave me a book from my wish list – Jennie Nash’s The Writer’s Guide to Agony and Defeat – The 43 Worst Moments in the Writing Life and How to Get Over Them.
Having just turned 43, I thought it would be a good time to read this book. And, having an increased blog readership and a growing collection of essays I hope to publish as a memoir, I thought it would be a good time to read this book.
While I didn’t agree with everything Ms. Nash wrote (and felt some of her jokes weren’t that funny), there were a number of takeaways I’d love to share with you. I think you’ll find they’re insightful and valuable even if you aren’t a writer.
“Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely essential.” – Jessamyn Wes
“This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don’t consider it rejected. Consider that you’ve addressed it ‘to the editor who can appreciate my work’ and it has simply come back stamped ‘not at this address.’ Just keep looking for the right address.” – Barbara Kingsolver
“What we do might be done in solitude and with great desperation, but it tends to produce exactly the opposite. It tends to produce community and in many people hope and joy.” – Junot Díaz
“Ones best success comes after their greatest disappointments.” – Harriet Ward Beecher