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 All my previous submissions to the Testimony went unpublished.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.
Thank you, Bob, for this exceptionally inspiring post. I loved the examples of defining moments you included.ReplyDelete
Amen to these words of yours: "We don’t remember days. We remember moments."
Blessings as you continue writing to "grow hope" ~ Wendy Mac
Thank you, Wendy. You are a cheerleader in the finest sense of the word.ReplyDelete
Good post, Bob. This reminds me of that bum group, The Beatles. They were rejected by every record label in England. Derek (King Size) Taylor, of that wildly popular group Derek and The Seniors, wrote The Beatles' manager to stop sending that group to Hamburg since they were ruining it for all the other Liverpool bands. Then a small lable called Parlophone Records signed that "bum group" and the rest is history and also hysteria.ReplyDelete
Love this example, Bruce!!!!Delete
I agree with Tracy. Great example of a defining moment. Love the "history and hysteria."Delete
Wow. I appreciated the examples you cited. I guess the bottomline is this - don't give up! Thanks Bob!ReplyDelete
Yes. Its always too soon to quit. Not that all writers don't feel temped often.Delete
Bob, I love the line you quote from the Heath brothers: “Defining moments shape our lives, but we don’t have to wait for them to happen. We can be the authors of them.” Such a hopeful line. You've given us another inspiring post. Thank you!ReplyDelete
You do lead a Beautiful Life of encouragement, Brenda. Thank you for engaging.Delete
Your words are most encouraging, Bob. When I recall the defining moments in my life, I see the fingerprints of God on them. He is the One who orchestrates all the details to create that significant moment and move us forward. Thanks for the great post!ReplyDelete
"I see the fingerprints of God on (defining moments)." What a profound thought, Valerie!Delete
Love the thought of the "fingerprints of God."Delete
Thank you for your inspiring post, Bob. Your sentence encourages me to be proactive in creating defining moments, both for myself and others: “'Defining 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.”ReplyDelete
I know you will have many others who identify your name with their defining moment.Delete
Thanks for this wonderfully encouraging and inspiring post, Bob. A blessing.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Sharon. Loved your quote in your last post - "Divine interruptions can be chaos and crisis or valiant victory. It is, in a word, life." Looking forward to your November post.Delete