the years I’ve heard others talk about publishing forms outside of the
traditional route. I’ve also noticed how folks get their knickers in a
knot at the mere mention of such a thing. Why is that?
I understand that if someone’s
work looks shoddy it can be annoying, but it doesn’t give the rest of
us a bad name. It reflects on the author who wrote the book.
Personally I want to publish via
the traditional route not because the other venues are wrong. I think
it’s more of a challenge for me to see if the traditional publishers
want what I have. I suppose I’ll feel validated if the Big Guns want my
You know, this topic reminds me
of junior high school. I wanted to be a cheerleader. The first year I
tried out, though, nobody wanted me.
Anyway, I worked hard over the
next year, preparing myself for the following season. And I was ready,
let me tell you—until the morning of the tryouts.
I rehearsed my cheer one last
time. All went well, until I reached the end, when I went for my grand
finale. I jumped high in the air, came back down, and landed in the
splits on the gymnasium floor. A pain ripped through my groin area. I
couldn’t move, let alone breathe.
One of my girlfriends ran over
to me. “Deb, are you okay?”
“Do I look okay to you?” The
blood always drains from my face like this. Hadn’t you noticed?
I finally managed to crawl to my
feet, and deflation steeped within me. How could I try out when I
couldn’t even walk?
But I would not be defeated.
I made my way to the center of
the gymnasium floor, wincing with each step. My childbearing
days are ruined too.
After sucking in a deep breath,
I performed the entire cheer. There were no tumbles, jumps, and
especially no splits. (I may be crazy, but I’m not that crazy.) I stood
ramrod still, used my arms to form the motions, and yelled the cheer as
I went. When I finished, I received a standing ovation from some of my
peers. Wow, maybe I’ll make the squad after all.
My thoughts of winning soon
vanished, though, as I watched each girl perform after me. One of them
did numerous back handsprings across the floor. Show off.
Another girl flew through the air and maneuvered several aerial
walkovers. Nasty hussy. Only one thing eased my
pain in that moment. I finished what I had started, no matter the cost.
The following year, after much
more training (and no splits, thank you very much), I tried out again.
And do you know what happened? I made the squad, but there was just one
problem. I wasn’t as happy as I thought I’d be.
Still, I finished the year. In
fact, I tried out for the next season (and made it), but quit halfway
through. I discovered my heart wasn’t into cheerleading after
all—probably because I wasn’t in it for the right reason.
does this tie in with writing and publishing?
Well, when I first started this
craft, I thought confetti would drop from the sky the first time I
published something, but it didn’t. No fireworks went off inside me.
Don’t get me wrong, I was happy, but it wasn’t what I thought it would
be—what others made it out to be would be more accurate.
addition, the first time I
pitched a novel, which I’ve done only once, I thought my manuscript
would be accepted right off the bat, but it wasn’t. Can you imagine?
Soon after, vanity publishing
crossed my mind, but I couldn’t concede to doing such a thing. Maybe
it’s because I wanted to win the prize, just like when I competed in
Because of what happened all
those years ago, I had to ask myself a serious question. Who are you
Still not sure of the answer, I
trained hard to learn this craft. I jumped, spun, and performed all
kinds of feats, trying to make my way in this field. I’ve been
stretched in every direction, kind of like what happened in my
cheerleading days. I’ve been accepted and rejected, praised and pooh
poohed. Yet I finally figured out that there was one big difference
between the two. When it came to writing, I never quit. Why?
Because I can’t. I feel whole
when I write. Whether others want what I have or not, writing is part
of who I am.
I’ve come to find that true
writers never give up—no matter who wants or doesn’t want them, no
matter who likes or doesn’t like them. They keep writing. They write
from their hearts, no matter which venue they publish their work in.
I’m going to keep writing too. I
just thank God that splits aren’t required for this craft. Otherwise,
it might have a different ending.