I’m thinking about editors.
You know, the gatekeepers of
the printed page. What comes to mind when you think about magazine editors? Rejection?
That means you likely wrote and submitted a few unsolicited pieces that didn’t
make the grade. Editors bring to mind my defining moment as a writer.
In 1983 Rev. Bob Skinner was appointed editor of The Testimony magazine, the voice of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. Bob had an illustrious career in Africa overseeing a publishing company. He was determined to produce a magazine that was professionally designed and meticulously edited. I was a rookie PAOC pastor and fledgling writer.
Back in the good ol’ days of the early 80’s, writers like me printed and snail mailed their submissions to editors and publishers. Then we waited for the next edition to see if our piece made the grade. All my previous submissions to the Testimony went unpublished. You can imagine how pleasantly shocked I was when the March 1984 edition contained my article on battling addiction. Bob gave me a shot. He wrote encouraging me to submit more pieces. I was good enough to write for a national magazine with 80,000 subscribers.
We don’t remember days. We remember moments.
Biblical writers offer a definition of moments beyond the mere sequencing of events; the ancients speak of "kairos." In his book, Life-Defining Moments, James Emery White defines a kairos moment as "time filled with opportunity.”
Lisa McMann is the creator
of The Unwanteds and The Unwanteds Quests series for young readers and the WAKE
trilogy for young adults. She had one of those defining moments in the fourth
grade when her teacher said the story she wrote was the best in the class, and
therefore she would be going to the Young Authors Conference where she'd get to
hang out with authors all day. She was a writer!
J. K. Rowling sold over half
a billion books. Her first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was
rejected by over a dozen publishers. Finally, a small British publisher,
Bloomsbury, said yes. Bloomsbury saw the potential of the book because the
chairman of the publishing house gave the first chapter to his then 8-year-old
daughter, Alice, to read. Upon finishing, she immediately demanded the rest of
the book. And Harry Potter became a part of the culture.
Rejected by 27 publishers, Dr Seuss was on his way home to burn his manuscript when he ran into an old school acquaintance. When asked what he was carrying Seuss replied “a book no one will publish. I’m lugging it home to burn”. The acquaintance, an editor of children’s books, insisted on seeing it. The book, On Mulberry Street, was published to rave reviews. Dr Seuss went on to write over 60 children’s books. Seuss would say later of the fortuitous meeting, “If I'd been going down the other side of Madison Avenue, I'd be in the dry-cleaning business today.”
John Grisham took three years to complete his first book, A Time to Kill. The book was rejected by 28 publishers before Wynwood Press, an unknown publisher, agreed to give it a modest 5,000-copy printing. Grisham has since sold 300 million copies over the last 30 years.
According to Chip and Dan Heath, authors of, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact:
moments shape our lives, but we don’t have to wait for them to happen. We can
be the authors of them.” And you can author them for others.
Who's story will your name appear in as the author of their defining moment?
I write to grow hope, inspire
people to be real, forge an authentic faith in Jesus, and discover
their life purpose.
Please follow my writing at REVwords.com
I would love to hear from you.