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Writing life: Don’t give up

Author and lecturer James McCreet considers some ways of getting through the ‘dark times’ of a writer’s life

The announcement of 2015’s Booker Prize winner came with the news that Marlon James had had his book rejected 78 times before finding a deal. He actually gave up at one point, believing that he was not writing the kind of books anyone wanted to publish or read. He is not alone.

Most writers will experience doubts, fears and even feelings of hopelessness in their careers. When you receive rejection after rejection, when you just can’t seem to get better, when you manage to get one book published but then the publisher doesn’t want any more, when you achieve something that looks like success but sales wither and you become persona non grata on the shelves... such things are common in the life of most writers. Rejection and failure far outweigh success.

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Handling heroes: Learn from the Bard New series: An insider's view of publishing Written your book? We'll help you sell it! How to: • Write better features • Sell and re-sell your writing overseas • Create a screenplay from your novel Pen pushers: Ideas and exercises to inspire your writing Star interview: Scandalous historian Halle Rubenhold WIN! A 6-day Arvon writer's retreat worth £600

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