I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.

Sylvia Plath

Although Sylvia Plath won a Pulitzer Prize for her book “The Collected Poems,” she is perhaps best known for “The Bell Jar,” a 1963 novel based on events that shaped her life. Alfred A. Knopf, Plath’s first American publisher, passed on “The Bell Jar” twice. But through the author’s strong belief in her talent and her dedication, she acquired a measured response to such brushoffs. Plath understood that professional writing meant courting criticism — first from editors, then reviewers, and finally readers. Rather than fretting over responses she couldn’t control, Plath celebrated each time she was vulnerable enough to send her work out into the world.