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.
A while ago I wrote about how one submits their articles, etc. One way is to submit everything you’ve got. One non-writer said to me “go crazy”. The other way is to submit your best. I had been methodically submitting to a particular publisher, but a rejection I got from them over the weekend made me focus on my approach with them. Reconsidering my approach is what I should do in this case. The answer was obvious. I came down on the side of only submitting my best after this rejection. The pieces I’ve put aside may be good for a different publisher. So, my bottom line for this publisher is to submit my best, while the others may find the light of day somewhere else as they may fit better there. Nothing is wasted, therefore. I was going to chuck the others out, but thought better of it.
I found this helpful on Image Journal: “the risk of sharing work with us”. What I say there may be an oxymoron, for why is the risk of sharing work with them helpful? Let me bring in the context. They’re saying submitting work is a risk: when someone shares their work with an editor, it is a risk. Sharing one’s work with an editor is exhilarating and nerve wracking. One doesn’t know the outcome, but is excited nevertheless. A risk in other words. Yes, risk is the right word; the word risk illuminates what I do when I submit articles, stories, and devotions. And Image Journal appreciate that in a writer as do many other journals.
It’s always a little thrill to send off a piece, be that an article, devotion, story, review, poem. You never know what’s around the corner, one may feel the negative, but be confident that the piece is good enough. And the submission system worked. I’ve worked on this piece for about a month or two, from time to time. The editing work was more strenuous than usual as I just couldn’t get something right. But then it seemed to work better in the end.