Many days it’s quite difficult to have faith in humankind. Some days it’s difficult to have faith in myself.
It is nearly always difficult to have faith in the publishing world – whatever status it happens to be in at the moment.
That faith took another hit after I read this about the new(ish) editor, Deborah Treishman, of the New Yorker.
She said: “Someone who’s submitting themselves directly to the fiction editor probably isn’t all that savvy about publishing and probably not about writing either.”
A punch to the gut – that’s what that is.
Am I jealous that people are published because of what family they are from or whom they know in the business? Of course. Do I enjoy the more circuitous, and torturous, route that the majority of us writers must traverse? Not so much.
But since I started writing seriously in 1996, I have kept faith in why I write: because I can’t NOT write.
Publishing anything is a tremendous thrill and I do like the external validation. What I like even better is that each story I have published seems to find it’s appropriate home.
My stories probably aren’t New Yorker stories anyway and, because of the editor’s candor, I won’t waste my time any more.
For me, I write because I have stories to tell. I do research to find the best outlet for each story. I send out the stories because I want others to read them and perhaps find a piece of themselves or humanity in the story. I am as diligent in the business side of my writing as I am in the actual writing.
The rest I leave to faith that my work will find a home.
I am happy to report that I had another story accepted the other day, by the journal r.kv.r.y. I am especially thrilled that this story, Shakespeare’s Garden, has finally found a home.
I wrote Shakespeare’s Garden sometime in 2000. I submitted this story, in one draft or another, 16 times before this acceptance.
As you can see, in addition to faith, I also have an immense amount of patience.