Giving Your Dreams a Nice Funeral

by Jeff Abbott on December 10, 2008

One unpublished author has decided to move on with her life–and her first step is to conduct a funeral for her unpublished novel. According to the New Yorker:

On Saturday, a California woman whose autobiographical novel was rejected by sixteen publishers hosted a funeral for her dream of a writing career, at which “attendees viewed the failed manuscript, rejection letters, refinance papers, useless MFA in creative writing, and the author’s much watched DVD copy of ‘The Secret.’”

As well, her website is a virtual cemetary where you too can bury your dreams.
I’ll give Ms. Kavanaugh credit: she seems to be doing this with the idea of moving on and helping others bury unrealized dreams and negative traits that stand in their way (as she puts it “cranky attitudes”.) We’ll see if we see a Dead Dreams coffee table book from her soon. I wish her the best of luck. (I don’t think she’s saying, though, that’s she’s giving up on writing. And while I might give up on a specific novel after sixteen rejections, I could never, ever give up on writing. It’s not in my brain chemistry.)
Via Andrew Sullivan, via The New Yorker.

    { 5 comments… read them below or add one }

    Ann Victor December 10, 2008 at 9:11 am

    AHAHAHA! I empathise with her feeling about the useless MA in Creative Writing. But, in fairness, it did have one use. It made me realise that without writing I am indistinct. So it seems as if giving up writing is not in my brain chemistry either.

    Kristan December 10, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Haha, this is kind of depressingly cute, if that makes any sense.

    robenagrant December 11, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    … and so, she gets her fifteen minutes of fame and then goes on to write a story about it and gets published. Very clever.

    Mary Patrick December 12, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Hey Jeff Abbott and friends, wish you’d been at my funeral. Was grousing around my web stats and found this lovely blog. The funeral was the best I’d ever thrown, and FYI none of the guests (nor the minister) would let me chuck the MFA in Creative Writing into the casket. And what a line there was of folks disposing of their own dead dreams, dashed hopes, and disappointments. I now have to have a cremation for those as I promised the participants that the world would be rid of their old pain, ready to bring in something more cheerful in 09. Also, I didn’t bury my book. I’m not such a wimp after only 16 rejections. I just buried the idea that some big publishing house was going to make the party happen for me. I really did have an idea about what I wanted book and launch to be like, and this is it. So alas…we’ll see if all the hullabaloo translates into book sales. If not I’m getting a lot of encouragement to open a boutique funeral business. I’m quite good at it. (Feel free to dump your dead dreams on my website. Very few are refused….)
    Best of success to you!

    Jeff Abbott December 13, 2008 at 9:18 am

    Mary Patrick: Thanks for stopping by. I didn’t think you were giving up on your book because you didn’t cremate the manuscript (THAT would have been giving up). And you obviously have a clever wit, so I hope you’ll keep writing.
    I wish you all the best with your writing. You certainly have an eye for the interesting promotion.

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