Borders

I told the ed. : who have you seen like Mr.? That can deliver like Mr.? No one I tell you. But he put up borders. I was from here, he was from there. Borders are a problem for writers, if one’s not a local, trying to write internationally, and international writers are an issue for the publication you are trying to write for. You can get in there, though, without telling them, using cunning and their sheer trust and ignorance. But you may get found out and they have a problem with non-locals writing for local publications. The publication’s national pride could be a reason for such circumspect behavior. Some publishers are insular looking and very sensitive to local authenticity and accuracy. They may say, “Don’t want a foreigner writing about our issues” or whatever it happens to be, even if generic or general issues that affect everyone. Maybe getting sidelined because you are from another country is that the publication likes to serve “their own”. It comes down to “family”. But then that excludes the human family. That is a contradiction and problem. Therefore, borders are always going to be a problem for a writer, but getting in there is not impossible. With an unidentifiable email and an open minded editor, who may even know your real identify somehow, but who may give you a chance, you may get around the bureaucracy and get some credits and money. Until someone else finds out and resists the temptation of beautiful work. But never approach a publisher if they say “no international writers wanted” in their writer’s guidelines. That would be unethical if you did.

It’s still writing, but…

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…

Try!

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.