Writers are used to rejection. It is just part of the process. And usually the rejection wording is benign. Something like, Sorry but it doesn’t fit our present needs.
But then there is the editor who absolutely hates it and gives the reasons why. That happened to me recently.
When I read this editor’s criticism of my heroine it nearly gave me whiplash. I obviously didn’t share my message too well.
At first I was hurt. Then I became angry, Then I got offended. The three phases of being misunderstood. Ever been there? It isn’t a pleasant or peaceful place to be. I realized I needed to take action before I let this offense take me to a dark place and make decisions I would regret later. Here are the steps I take when something like this happens:
1. I take a deep breath
2. I ask myself, what is true? If any of this editor’s points are valid. I would benefit if I’d listen. I must always be teachable.
3. I must consider the editor and give the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps this person has so many manuscripts to read that there is only time to skim. Being a Christian editor, maybe this person has different denominational beliefs from me that hid the nuances of my character’s behaviors that I actually patterned after Jesus’ disciples’.
4. I must have a plan of action. And I do. Having a direction helps me move forward instead of looking back.
Being misunderstood is hard, but it happens. Having your message misunderstood is painful. For those of you who have read my posts for any amount of time knows how important helping others through my message is to me. But it happens. Life goes on and so must we.
There are two choices we can make after being misunderstood, we can either let it deepen our character by taking the steps above, or we can let it darken us by putting us in a dungeon of bitterness.
I choose to move on. How about you?
WHAT I HAVE LEARNED FROM WEEDS
I have a love/hate relationship with weeds. I hate them in my garden. They are obnoxious and stubborn. While pulling them is necessary, it also seems futile. Kinda like the Walmart employee whose job is pushing carts back into the store. I feel sorry for the guy because for every cart he returns to the store twenty are rolled out. That is how I feel after wrestling them out of the ground, putting down fresh mulch, I enjoy the weed-free garden for about, ummmm, two days?
On the other hand, I’ve learned a lot from these aggravating plants and that is what I love about them. Below are a few things I’ve gleaned from weeds:
Weeds will grow anywhere. No matter how rich or poor the soil is they adapt and thrive.
- Adapting and thriving. Good advice from nature. Neal is a good example. When we were first married his job was changed from virus research (his specialty) to avian serology. (Chicken blood) At first he fumed and resisted this change, but then he decided to own this change. Today is one of the vice-presidents at Tyson Foods. And it was avian serology that paid for his doctorate.
Weeds will thrive in a drought. They send their roots deeper and deeper. That is why it is so hard to get the blasted things out. And besides them having a deep roots, they also cling to rocks in the soil. Conversely the plants that I lovingly put in the ground, feed and faithfully water, constantly wilt, attract white flies, gnawing bugs, and get funguses. Such divas!
- Attitude adjustment. Instead of complaining when there is more month than money, when my incredibly fantastic manuscript is rejected, when I’m forgotten or ignored, when there is stress in my family, (you get the idea) instead of letting these things make me bitter, I learn from them, emotionally overcome them, and concentrate on the big picture. Hopefully I will send my roots deeper and become a better person.
Weeds scatter seeds. Unlike my diva plants, weeds are very industrious and prolific. They do not depend on others to get the job done. My diva plants produce fruit, but expect me to gather their seeds and plant them.
- Productive. I waste time waiting for perfect conditions or for someone else.
Weeds can become divas. I noticed that the weeds that grow close to my diva plants have shallow roots. They get all the food and water handed to them on a silver platter so to speak. So when I weed they come right out.
What about you? Have you learned anything from weeds or weeding your garden? Please share it with us!