Every now and again, people surprise me. One of the greatest feelings is when you want to laugh and cry at the same time. For years I’ve had the most wonderful tenant. Timothy, was always courteous and kind, and never more than 10 days late on rent. When he told me in January of his plans to move back East, he did so in a hand written letter that was so kind.
Saddened by his impending departure, I wrote a post asking a basic question, “Is It Better to Rent To Males or Females?” to help deal with the preparation ahead. Most of you mentioned you prefer females, however all of the past five tenants have been males.
WHO COMES HITHER?
I hosted four open houses altogether, and oddly enough, 75% of the new applicants were female this time around. During the first open house, I noticed Timothy’s wall hung a framed rejection letter by a publisher. “Thanks and we wish you the best of luck”, it said. Poor Timothy, he was working in a relatively low paying non-profit job that he didn’t like, and he wanted to be a writer.
During the final walk through with Timothy, we began talking about his future plans. I was somewhat expecting him to say that he was just quitting his job to move back East and live with his parents in this economy. Instead, he told me he found a new job! He was very modest at first, and mentioned that a publisher hired him to “do some things here and there.“ When I politely asked him to share more, he mentioned Random House hired him! Given he was so modest, I was expecting him to say that he was going to work as an literary apprentice or something of that nature. Instead, he said they signed him to a book deal!
Timothy began talking about how he spent the past year and a half writing two manuscripts and getting 32 agent rejection letters all the while working 50 hours a week at his day job. At last he found an agent, and after a dozen more publisher rejections he finally landed the big one. They flew him out to New York, took him out to Jean George’s, and slyly slid over a contract after the lemon meringue pie was served! The contract was not for just one book, but for three books over six years!
I was overjoyed with the news and actually started to tear up. Timothy was a good person, and a dream tenant. Why must you leave me! No, no, I was just overjoyed for him. Furthermore, he wasn’t falling into the underemployed camp as I had initially feared. Timothy persevered through years of rejection, wrote a manuscript that the biggest publishing house in the world deems noteworthy, and signed not only a book deal, but a multi-book, multi-year book deal!
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE
Can you imagine writing a full 300-page manuscript and getting rejected by 32 different agents? Surely most would give up. Not Timothy. After all the denials, he wrote a new 300-page manuscript and finally found someone who believed in him. His advocate sold him to the very top of the publishing universe when no one else cared. In my tiny rental lived a 26 year old writer who is fulfilling his dreams. Anything is possible!
Readers, any out of the blue success stories you’d like to share about yourself or others you know? Do you have the persistence to keep on going?
Happy Mother’s Day Mom!