The Write Path: Reality Sets In
Well, the novice has taken those first steps down the writing path and the next thing they know, they’ve finished that article, short story or novel manuscript. After thumbing through the pages of a well-worn writer’s marketing guide, they decide the best place to send a query.
An intriguing letter or email has been written, carefully avoiding statements like ‘all my friends enjoyed reading this’, ‘God told me to write this story’ or ‘this story will be the best one you ever publish’. The now somewhat-learned-writer drops a stamped envelope in a mailbox or pushes the send button.
That’s when the symptoms begin. You know, the sweaty palms and dry mouth. She asks herself what she just did. Is what she just wrote ready to be published if the editor asks for it tomorrow? Surely it is the most wonderful thing she's ever written. Right. So the waiting game begins. She tries to forget about it and move onto the next project, to not run to the mailbox, rather than walk at her usual dignified pace, or search the email for at least a week for something from that editor. Okay, a month then.
After all, our just post neophyte writer is hoping the editor will love the piece they sent, that it will be like the overnight success story she heard the other day. They will beg her to send a proposal or full manuscript. Time passes . . . weeks turn into months. And one day a crisp white envelope from the publisher appears in the mailbox or the name she’s been waiting for pops out boldly in her inbox. The sweating palms return as she tears the envelope open . . . or pushes that button.
Dear Ms. Neophyte:
Thank you for your query. We regret to inform you that we can’t use
your material at this time. Best wishes in finding the right home for your work.
Biz E. Editor
The rejected writer instead reads:
Dear Inexperienced and Untalented Writer:
Why did you bother wasting our time (and yours) with this idea?
The back of your letter is being used for office tick-tack-toe, since it’s good
for nothing else. Good luck finding someone to publish that detritus. Your
I. M. Smarter
Congratulations! You’ve received your first rejection! Welcome to the world of the real writer!
To be continued: Just what should we do with rejection?
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