While reading Thedore Geisel’s biographies, I came across the story of how he got his first book published. Now, depending on the person telling the story, his first book (And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street) was rejected upwards of 38 times. He was still convinced it was good, though, and he hadn’t given up on it yet.
Then this particular day, he was walking down the street and happened to run into an old friend who was just starting to head up the children’s department of this publishing house. He invited Geisel up to talk, and the rest is the legacy of all the books that Seuss wrote and published. Geisel claimed that had he been walking down the other side of the street that day, he’d have become a vacuum cleaner salesman.
And maybe he would have.
Sometimes what it takes is that one lucky break, mixed with some good writing and a lot of blind faith. It would have been easy for Geisel to give up. It would have been easy to not proof his work. And it would have been easy, when he ran into his friend with a tale of good fortune, for him to sit quietly and not offer up his manuscript. Instead, we got Dr. Seuss.
Of course, I am no Seuss. (And I may as well go there – I am also not a crook…or a Kennedy…) And while I may tend towards the unlucky, maybe that’s just because I haven’t been walking down the right side of the street. Yet.