There is something oxymoronic about the phrase ‘famous failures’ for if you are famous, can it be said you failed? It is true a famous person can fail, but consider those who were failures who became famous. Albert Einstein for instance could not speak until he was four, and his teachers told Albert’s parents he would never amount to anything.
This one I love. Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for lacking imagination and having no original ideas. Along the same lines Oprah Winfrey was demoted from a news anchor position because it was determined she was unfit for television.
Decca Recording Studio, way back when, rejected the Beatles because they did not like their sound and they felt the Beatles had no future in show business.
And finally Michael Jordan, perhaps the greatest basketball of all time, was cut from his high school team.
One can take from these stories whatever they want. That decision makers are often wrong, as we no doubt know, but probably most people will find the stories show perseverance and inspiration of individuals who kept going forward with their dreams, who succeeded despite firings, setbacks, and rejections.
Martha Mitchell‘s “Gone with the Wind” was rejected 170 times. I am guessing 170 people lost their jobs for that decision. Like Rhett Butler, Mitchel probably said, ” I don’t give a damn.” Stephen King’s first novel was rejected. Fact is every successful person and every writer gets rejected at some point. One of the saddest stories of rejection was John Kennedy Toole, whose book “Confederacy of Dunces” was rejected by everyone. For reasons only he knows, he committed suicide. His mother believed in the book and badgered Walker Percy-a famous American writer in case you are young-who was teaching at Loyola University in New Orleans. She wanted him to read her son’s book. Finally he relented when, instead of phone calls and letters, she came to his office. After reading a couple of pages he knew the book was good. He got it published and it won the Pulitzer Prize.
While these inspirational stories, Toole being an exception, are good to keep hope alive, it must be remembered that these are isolated cases. Publishing house’s dumpsters are filled daily with rejected manuscripts from writers destined for failure.
Having read a number of e-books from writers unpublished by major publishers it is clear that many can write and write well. E-books are for indy writers that want to write, to tell stories, only doing so after numerous rejections from the big boys. It is a new world and that is inspirational. Toole had his mother, but today we e-book writers practice the Emersonian principle of self reliance. Or rather rely on readers. Speaking of which, if you have not already done so, you can visit my inspirational authors page at Amazon here. http://www.amazon.com/Terry-Nelson/e/B00EEVHN38. I had to get that in. My mother is deceased.