Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Publication is Like Dating...

Writer Carolyn See didn't let rejections stop her from submitting multiple pieces to the same editor. At one point, the editor hand-wrote a note back to her to the effect, "I think you've sent us everything but the family photos." And so, she sent those next! The result of their playful exchange?

See got a face-to-face meeting with that editor in NYC. Courtship, but of a different kind.

This is a great attitude to hang onto when the rejections roll in: it's not the end of a publishing opportunity, but the beginning of a courtship.

When my brother in-law was trying to win over my sister, he put single red roses on her windshield, befriended my younger sister and I - heck, he even got a job at the same place she worked.

They've been happily married for 7 years now.

Now let's say an editor turns down a piece. In dating terms: the editor's just waiting to see what's next, just needs to be "won over". It's not so much a no, as a "not yet." So keep sending those "roses" and maybe they'll accept your proposal.


ACW said...

Early on, I heard that if a rejection letter has any type of personal touch -- if the editor mentioned something they liked, or says the writing is strong but they can't use this particular piece, or they invite you to submit again -- these are all positive signs and shouldn't be ignored.

I have such a back-and-forth with a particular editor. Nothing published yet, but always a positive comment about the writing. So of course I keep sending her material - I just keep telling myself it's a matter of time!


Colleen said...

Hi Anne,

That is a great sign that the editor takes the time to comment. I'd love to know what types of notes the editor makes! I had one once, they just wrote that the article was good, but they'd just published a similar piece.