Kenyon’s tale was bittersweet, her brother died and a sister was sick. School was a struggle. Sherrilyn had severe dyslexia and her fourth grade teacher once told her that she’d never be able to speak properly or hold jobs in which she’d have to interact with people. The teacher also implied that the best job she could aspire to was being a janitor.
In addition, even after she’d become a bestselling author, many of her ideas were rejected by publishers who were not convinced that vampires and zombies would sell. Now Kenyon is respected as the founder of these two extremely popular romance genres.
Now wildly successful, she not only has fervent fans, but also bitter enemies. How did she cope with the latter? She quoted a Japanese proverb: “If you sit fishing by the river long enough, you’ll see bodies of your enemies floating by.”
I almost blurted out laughing after I’d heard this. Not only that success is the best revenge, but also endurance! Woody Allen said that ninety percent of success is just showing up. And he has been true to his words, now in his seventies, he is still directing a movie every year.
I always feel sad when I see writers fail to get published not because their writing is bad, but because they give up too soon, unable to tolerate the humiliation of being rejected. But not Robert M Pirsig, who had received one hundred rejections before his best-selling and now classic Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was accepted for publication.
So, let’s all keep fishing by the river!