I do not have dreams of grandeur as a writer. But I do have purpose. My core value is communication, so writing is a given. Maybe, one day, if my books fall into the hands of the right person, I may make it to the lists. Well, one can hope can’t she? But even so, I write with purpose. Whether it is fiction or non I write to send important messages about life that will endure the test of time. I write for future generations.
This is something we all can do, even if you do not consider yourself a writer. Our stories matter. I have a diary of daily happenings that belonged to my great-grandfather. It was for the year 1870. Through the decades that little diary went through a lot of abuse. It lost its cover, some grandchildren scribbled in it, no one paid much attention to it, except to keep it. Thank goodness. By the time it came into my possession, that little rag-tag diary was a treasure. I keep it in a safe place and treat it as something priceless. Because it is. When I read it I’m visiting with my great-grandfather. I’m learning about him and what was important to him.
One day the stories I made up or writings of family experiences will be my great grandchildren’s treasure. You hear about leaving a footprint on the earth? By writing, we all leave a footprint on our future’s heart.
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?