Posted by: Marty Fahncke | August 11, 2011

She. Never. Gives. Up. (The author of “The Help”)

Movie poser for "The Help"A movie just came out this past week called “The Help”.   I haven’t seen it yet, but I plan to see it soon with my daughter.  I think it looks pretty good.    The movie is based on a book written by Kathryn Stockett.

Did you know that Kathyrn’s book was rejected SIXTY TIMES before finally being published?  Wow!

I read a very powerful interview with Kathyrn about never giving up, pursuing your passion, and doing whatever it takes to succeed.

I  want to share it with you…

CLICK HERE to read the full article
(Opens in new window)

Below are some key take-aways for me out of this interview, along with my comments noted with <>:

“If you ask my husband my best trait, he’ll smile and say, “She never gives up.” But if you ask him my worst trait, he’ll get a funny tic in his cheek, narrow his eyes and hiss, “She. Never. Gives. Up.”
<I guess never giving up means NEVER giving up on anything!>

“Sometimes I’d go to literary conferences, just to be around other writers trying to get published”
<Great idea.  Hang out with people who understand you and can encourage you>

“In the end, I received 60 rejections for The Help. But letter number 61 was the one that accepted me.  What if I had given up at 15? Or 40? Or even 60?”
<Indeed, what if she had given up?>

“I can’t tell you how to succeed. But I can tell you how not to: Give in to the shame of being rejected and put your manuscript—or painting, song, voice, dance moves, [insert passion here]—in the coffin that is your bedside drawer and close it for good. I guarantee you that it won’t take you anywhere.”
<Yikes, now I’m feeling guilty about the book I’ve been “working on” for 4 years now…and never finished.>

What do you think about this interview?  Could you suffer through 60 rejections before you reach your goal?

Have you tried something big and given up before the “Magic Yes” came to you?

If so, what are you going to do about it? 🙂


  1. I just self-publish, which gets my books out into the world and they can still be picked up later by a traditional publisher. But I like to take control of my own book from creative control, to pricing, to every detail.
    And I am a big fan of the “never give up” philosophy!

    • Lisa, thanks for stopping by my blog and sharing your thoughts on self-publishing. 🙂

  2. I saw the movie on opening day and really enjoyed it. It was amazing to me that this was how things were in the south less than 50 years ago – truly mind boggling!

    Thanks for sharing this interview – I didn’t know she had a “Beatrix Potter” story behind the story (I believe Peter Rabbit was rejected 40+ times before being published.) Always good to have these inspirations when you feel like you just might want to throw in the towel!

    • Tara – You are welcome, glad the inspirational post was appreciated.

  3. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post!
    It is the little changes that make the greatest changes.

    Thanks a lot for sharing!

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