Keyes does a great job presenting the case for finding hope in the writing process. This book specifically discusses: dealing with anxiety, frustration and despair, overcoming the discouragers in your life, exorcising excuses for not writing and pursuing a career in writing, the rites of rejection, the nature of publishers and editors, and how to keep hope alive.
Years ago I had a basketball coach who taught "if you're not getting at least four fouls in a game, you're not playing defense." He didn't like fouls, but his point was, in the process of playing the game aggressively, fouls are going to happen. Fouls are not necessarily indicators of defeat, they are indicators of effort. Likewise, Keyes' approach to rejection is that all successful writers deal with rejection. In his book he provides numerous examples, including Nobel and Pulitzer prize winners, of authors who face rejection even after winning critical acclaim. Rejection is a fact of life, Keyes say, learn to deal with it. Easily stated, but it still hurts. According to Keyes, writers who have not experienced rejection are not sending out enough material; and, writers who don't learn to accept rejection as part of the writing process, are doomed to quit writing altogether.
Keyes is the author of another book titled "The Courage to Write," which I highly recommend. Similar books by other authors which I would also recommend for the aspiring writer include: "On Becoming a Novelist," by John Gardner, and "The Forest for the Trees," by Betsy Lerner.
Ron Atkins is the author of two children's books, Abby and the Bicycle Caper, and his upcoming (January 2005) Abby and the Bike Race Mystery.