I'm probably one of the last woman in the country to read The Help. I never got around to it until I read an article about the author, Kathryn Stockett. It took her a year and a half to write the first version. Following that was five more years of writing and 60 rejections. #61 was the charm, more than two millions copies have been sold and the movie is coming out this summer.
At my writers group, we often discuss what the secret is to getting published. When I wrote an essay on gardening, I sent it to a free, local magazine and didn't care if I'd make any money off of it as long as it had an audience. They loved it and if I cut it in half they might consider it. Half? Might? I was defeated. I edited, changed and deleted some things, but not half of it and of all the things I've written, that one is still one of my favorites.
This morning I woke up at 3:00 and tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn't stop thinking about those black maids in Jackson, Mississippi during the civil rights movement and the skinny, white girl who dared to write their stories. Before the birds even thought about chirping, I got up and opened the book that sixty other editors thought would never sell by a writer who refused to give up on her baby.