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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Successful failure

Courage arrived this week and I took advantage by sending out a number of essays to various pubs. Delightfully I received a wonderful rejection letter from an editor at Better Homes & Gardens less than an hour after I submitted my essay.

Here’s an excerpt from his wonderful e-mail:

Hi Wendy,

Thanks for this. It's well written and plenty evocative, but not quite right for T&N. Our editor is very big on these essays having some kind of nugget of activation or inspiration for readers as they live their lives. We're tending to avoid pieces that hinge too much on reminiscence, however well told, and not enough on how that memory or recollection of the past can be brought to bear on life today, the "now" of Then and Now.

He then went on to share an example of an upcoming piece that was adjusted to provide some call to action at the end. It was essentially a road map on how to get published and it has not fallen on deaf ears.

But I liked your piece and should think you'd be able to find a home for it.

That comment alone made my day. And so now I’m in the process of finding another market for the piece. I’ve been duly warned by him and others not to get spoiled by his quick response.

If you have any other T&N ideas for us, please pass them along. I can't guarantee I'll always be able to respond as promptly as this, but I'll do my best.

This is about as gracious and encouraging a rejection as I could ever hope for. In order to ensure that this editor made the right decision in thinking I was worth spending time on, I’m going to follow-up with another piece I’ve been working on for him next week.

Last fall I saw that Writer’s Digest was planning to interview writers about their blogs for its pub, Personal Writing. In a flash, I fired off an e-mail about Creative Ink and what it has given me personally and professionally.

So it was quite a serendipitous occurrence this week when I received an e-mail from a writer at Personal Writing saying they wanted to profile Creative Ink in a future issue (probably September or October). I had a nice conversation with the writer, talking about how I got started blogging and why, what it’s done for my writing and my process for posting.

At the end of our conversation, I asked him why he contacted me about my blog (of the many he could have interviewed). He said it was my pitch, which sadly I no longer have a copy of, and the blog itself.

Creative Ink is my writing laboratory. Although I note the blog on my e-mail signature and on my letterhead, I never know how seriously to reference it as an example of my writing to editors. I’m not sure how they view maintaining a blog as an example of writing.

But a colleague of mine wisely noted that editors take seriously what you take seriously.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

I sent a link to this entry with my writing group. Thanks for sharing it with us!