Whatever you do and whatever it’s about, no matter how noble or realistic and so on. But I want more, something different, something so resonate that the audience will want to keep on turning the page. One writer replied: I will obey! Another one said: I am who I am. I said, I’ll stick to my guns. And the one who got the job said: I don’t care. But he would learn to…
A little story she found in the throes of writing her latest manuscript. It was found in-between the pages of her first novel. The content of the note was chilling, freezing her senses. What happened then could happen again. This was the note:
The publisher tried to console me. “Acceptances and rejections come one’s way no matter how the writing is. Yours just wasn’t a fit this time. But we invite you to try again.” I considered this and thought about what they said: Yours was not a fit this time. But they must love my ideas because they invited me to submit again. So, make it fit! Try again. Now, I should write something that suits them and wait and wait and wait…anticipating, expecting. Will my work be good enough? Who knows.
She waited for six months. In the sixth month, the reply came, “Yours wasn’t a fit this time. Sorry. Please try again in the future.” She bit her lip and tried again. A few months later, as she was furiously writing, she realized, what’s the point? And tried someone else, who said, “Good luck in finding another publisher for your work.” But she kept on trying and trying. She revised and revised after each rejection and the piece kept on sounding better. But it always sounded good, she thought. Then one day she came to the realization: should I stop, now? Has this piece does its dash? One more try, she thought.
Fifty rejections later, she is published, but would the cycle of rejection happen again? She put the note away and thought, I got through that. I can get through it again. Not that I ever will.
This is the tale of a writer who made the big time.
At first, he was aggrieved that his action had the consequence of limiting what could have happened, his lack of foresight and impatience denying him a blessing that would have been quite nice. He bore under it with a strong sense of grief, but it soon dissipated into the nothingness around him, and life went on.
If it fits in with the publisher’s requirements—yeah, right—I, as one writer among many, really want my story published the way I envisage it. But, having had second thoughts, if I would not self-publish, how do I get my work in, without doing just like the publisher requires? Dare I say I prefer to do it my way? Bother…Maybe there is another way to get my work out there.
Of course, there is a kind of leeway for the writer to be expressive, but within the requirements, or else do not get published. I want to be published. Yes, I do. So, got to do what I am told, and that is something I can do, when push comes to shove. I find I am kind of natural at it.
The publisher’s requirements can be guidelines, a shape, or outline, the type of product and the tone and emphasis of certain products. Just depends on who the writer writes for. Devotions one way may not fit somewhere else, for example. (They should fit everywhere, but that is the way it goes.) But they are still devotions, done differently one place or another. I must adjust accordingly.
Without wanting to boast (well, there may be a bit of that, but I would rather not) I was kind of blessed for getting published the first time I submitted a devotion to a publisher, but since then I have had several rejections with same publisher. Bother, but the publisher kindly pointed out to study the kind of devotions they publish. Nice. So, I did. I think I am producing suitable devotions for them one after another now, while still with the ability to express myself. So, when writing for other publishers, and not only for myself, I am finding it a positive experience.
When through the quieter times of researching for another publisher, I expect something positive, although not knowing the shape of it.