Tuesday, March 4, 2008
IN WHICH I RELATE TO THE MAD BLUEBIRD
This writer business can be really tough sometimes. Let me tell you what I mean.
A few months ago I received from an editor (we'll call him Editor X) a letter that really irked me. I have submitted poems to Editor X before, and he has asked for revisions. The first time I thought, wow, cool! He likes my work enough to give me feedback! I was seriously thrilled. Of course I made the revisions.
Well. A few months later he rejected the revisions, but asked for even more revisions! Not being one to give up without a fight, I revised accordingly. Do you think Editor X accepted my poem for publication?
Big fat NO!
All that time! All that effort! Not to mention the stamps.
Time passed and I sort of forgot about it. (But not really.) When I got the latest issue of Editor X's journal, I pored over it, nearly memorizing some of the poems. I realized I still really really really wanted to be in that journal. And I thought, maybe now I'll get lucky, because haven't I established a relationship with Editor X now? Won't he eventually have to publish me, just because we've had so much correspondence?
I crossed my fingers and sent him all new poems.
Guess what? Editor X promptly replied with a request for revisions. Again! I crumpled his letter into a ball and sent it flying across the room. I decided nope, not this time, I am not revising. Which turned out to be the right thing, because what do you know, those very same poems got picked up as they were by other journals.
But still, I kept thinking about Editor X and his journal. How I wanted so much to have a poem appear in those pages. Still.
I couldn't help it, I sent the man a new batch of poems. Which brings us to the letter from a few months back. Editor X admonished me for not sending in revisions! He said he thought I was a poet he could work with, and was I opposed to revisions? Uh, hello, did I not revise TWICE only for you to reject in the end?? I shoved the letter back in the envelope and vowed no matter what, I wouldn't submit to Editor X ever again. Never ever ever.
Then today I ran across the envelope and had to open up and re-read that letter. And you know what? All of a sudden his suggestions make perfect sense to me. So I've made the changes and first thing in the morning I am popping that envelope in the mail. Maybe, just maybe, this is the envelope that wins Editor X's heart.
"Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern
resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind."
-- Leonardo da Vinci