You know the story: debut author lands six-figure publishing deal, followed by a movie and then a second smash novel, and the author is appropriately, charmingly, and nauseatingly humble, saying, "Well, I did get about 100 rejection letters before I finally found the agent/editor/publishing house that was willing to take a chance."
Once we get past our envy of their huge success, it's worthwhile to listen to what many authors have to say about surviving the rejection letter - sometimes multiple times. Yes, the best authors have been rejected, often many times. So I try to take heart from their experiences - and surfing the Web to find some of those classic "can't believe this author EVER received a rejection letter" can bring a smile to anyone's face, I think.
In that spirit, here are a couple of sites that feature rejections of the famous and not-so-famous, all of which should make you chuckle and remind you to keep on keeping on! Write (or fill in the blank here_____) because you love it. Because you can't imagine NOT doing it. The publication (or fame, or money, or whatever else you're seeking) will come......
Rotten Rejections - My favorite here is about Carrie by Stephen King: 'We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.'
Famous Rejections - Starts with Dr. Seuss ("too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling")and moves on from there. Another funny one: "It is badly written and the hero is unsympathetic" (Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead)
And finally, from my own files (I save all my rejection letters), this one from an agent about Summer's Song: "Unforunately, I don't think your writing is strong enough to be publishable." (I will tell you, I still use this one in the back of my mind to motivate me, and to remind me that publishing is subjective, and never to allow one person's opinion to shape my own writing career.)
Carry on, and happy weekend!