Two years ago, the manuscript of what was to be “Everyday Matters” was lying in a drawer. At the time, it was pretty much like the book that’s in stores today but it was called simply “A New York Diary”.
In late January, 2002, I had lunch with a friend who had just published a monograph of his work. He encouraged me to pick a list of publishers who had made books I liked and just send out my manuscript. “Invest a hundred bucks in copies and stamps and see if anything happens,” he urged.
So I made a list of thirty publishers and over the next few weeks, filled the mail with manilla envelopes. It took a year for twenty six of them to get around to sending me rejection letters (I’m still waiting on the last four).
This morning, inspires by my 24 hours of nausea, this morning I took out the file of letters and present some edited selections from the nicer ones:
Although, my efforts may seem futile they weren’t. I believe by making the effort, I set wheels in motion that through twists and turns caused my life to change, books to come out, this dialogue with you to happen.
Destiny is hard to seize. It’s impossible to control every step you will take. But by doing, by making, by generating energy, you cause things to happen.
These letters hurt me when they arrived. But they didn’t stop me. Though I felt like I was facing an endless monolithic wall, I finally found a toe hold and climbed into the Promised Land (a scary place where feelings of rejection continue to abound. More on that some other time). It’s not just because I am brilliant and devilishly handsome. I think it’s primarily because I kept beavering on.
Now… what do you have in a drawer?