Friday, April 30, 2010

About Rejections (Part 4 of 9)

Some manuscripts are published that don't deserve it, and we can point to many reasons.

A few years ago, an aspiring writer asked me to look at a few chapters of his book. I did and wrote back, "It's as good as thirty other books; but it's not better than thirty other books." By that I meant it was all right. It wasn't particularly insightful and he wrote nothing significant that hadn't been said countless times.

Whenever I hear agents and editors at conferences, they say they want excellent writing. By excellent, I think they mean more than cleverly crafted sentences, but they want distinctive writing as well. "Say it to me in a fresh way" is my interpretation.

I'll tell you the secret to distinctive writing: It comes from within and expresses the depth of your soul. The best kind of writing occurs when you speak from your heart (and it doesn't have to be autobiographical). It's called being vulnerable or transparent. Too many writers can't do that. They had an insatiable need to be liked or admired and those needs become more important than being true to their convictions.

I would rather be disliked for who I am than to be admired for who I'm not.


  1. Wow! This post spoke to me Cec! Sometimes I wondered if I was too vulnerable when posting on my blog.

    Definitely a morsel to chew on for a while.


  2. You made a wise comment about the "30 books". I aim to distinguish my writing, which is a long path to follow.

  3. As someone new to the writing world, your post is a great encouragement! Although I have only written a few things, mostly on my blog or caring bridge, it is interesting that I have recieved the most feedback when I have been authentic with the journey. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

  4. That's a great post. I love your blog! Thanks for sharing all your knowledge with us.

  5. I wished I could have gotten my childrens book published. It is without a doubt passionate and she is enamored with exciting purple.

    I wonder if you have a word or two to pass onto me!

    Dore Callaway

  6. I really needed to hear your statement that it's more important to be myself than to seek admiration. I tend to focus on gaining the approval of others rather than pleasing God. I often use quotes on my website and I'd love to use this one. I'll be sure to remember the "e"!


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