Failing to Sell My First Book Hurt, But In the Long-Run, It Helped My Writing Life

Aaron Gilbreath
14 min readJan 6, 2020

Sometimes the thing we think we want most is the thing that let’s us see what we really need.

My home library helps keep my motivated.

Between my retail day job, my social life and hustling for freelance writing gigs, it took a full year to write my first nonfiction book proposal. It was sixty-eight pages long. “I appreciate a long, detailed proposal,” an editor at…

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Aaron Gilbreath

Essayist, Journalist, Burritoist. Longreads Editor. Writing: Harper’s, NYT, Slate, Paris Review, VQR, Oxford American, Kenyon Review. 3 nonfiction books.