Monday, August 30, 2010


Humor me for a moment - I need to sprinkle my vocabulary with some sunshiny clichés. Maybe then I’ll feel better.

No. 1: What a difference a day makes.
No. 2: Water off a duck’s back…
No. 3: The sun will come out tomorrow…

Okay, No. 3 isn’t a cliché, but it was the last thing that popped into my head. Anyway, I’m sure you’re seeing where I’m going with this blog. Yes, the new dawn does tend to temper the ills of yesterday.

And since I have your attention, let me tell you why I appreciate a fresh start every morning. In the last month I’ve received two rejections and they were DOOZERS.

The first one came inside the self-addressed stamped envelope I’d included with my contest entry. I already knew I didn’t win in the categories I’d submitted to, but expected a constructive critique of my work.

Imagine my surprise when the critiquer suggested I completely rewrite my devotional, changing the fragrance I wrote about (which reminded me of my mom and was the theme of the devotional). He/she also advised me to change the Bible verse I used.

Okay, people, where is the helpful critique I’d hoped for? I didn’t feel it was in any of the words written on the back of my devotional. I sat and contemplated the person’s assessment of my work and this thought hit me. I could rewrite the piece and use the verse the person suggested. I could even splash my mother with a hint of White Diamond instead of Jergen’s Lotion. But if I do-doesn't that make my work someone else's idea now?

Just a thought!!

My saga continued – my second rejection came in another self-addressed stamped envelope (I'm going to quit opening them-HA). I ripped it open and inside was my three sheets of paper I’d sent (my query and two-page article). I turned the pages over a couple of times. Nothing was written on them. Nothing was attached to them. Nothing…except a FOOTPRINT.

Yes, that’s what I said—a footprint on the right side of my query letter. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that the faint marking revved up my thought process. For a moment I wanted to hunt down the person who two-stepped all over my submission. But instead, I prayed and took captive those wayward thoughts before they got out of hand.

Which is exactly what we need to do every time we receive a rejection. Don’t let a person’s words (or in my case—a footprint) ruin your day. Lay it aside because tomorrow is a new beginning. A fresh start.

And always remember…

“This is the day that the Lord has made, rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 NIV)

Happy writing!!!

PS: Hey, now that I think about it--maybe the guy was leaving me a FOOTNOTE. I better go back and take another look at my query letter. HA!!!


Annette O'Hare said...

A FOOTPRINT, A FOOTPRINT?? That's the saddest thing I've ever heard! What were they letter, insert foot!

nettie-fudge said...

Oh, I'd never thought about that. TOO FUNNY!!! Love ya!!!

Linda Kozar said...

Haha Janetta--As to the 1st rejection--It's only an opinion but maybe later you'll go back and take another look at it. Then if you still feel strongly about it, try to send it as is somewhere else. Who knows? Another editor might love it.

The footprint thing is hilarious. Is that a statement of some sort? That's a classic! I know you'll be writng and sharing about that one for years to come.

hisgracemyfaith said...

Now don't tell me he/she was referring to "Footprints in the Sand." But that is a nice thought, Christ is carrying you right now and every day. Submit to someone else. It's all a matter of opinion, that one person's.

hisgracemyfaith said...

Thanks for you comment on my blog. I just love your "words for the journey" group. Great writers. And they could not survive with out you. I'm so thankful that I met you through Lena and Janice. Someday DFW Ready Writers and your group need to plan a huge retreat. together.

Kathy Burnett said...

Thanks for sharing! I was dumb, stupid, whatever you call it for wanting a second kick in the pants in April when I submitted my manuscript in a big christian fiction contest...yes, yes I know that I should have learned from a previous experience, but I'm a slow learner. Needless to say I didn't make the finalists and I got a judge who hate, hate, hated my characters, book, and writing..oh, did I mention the hatred? so....I'm confessing to you all that I stopped writing. Thanks for the blog Janetta, maybe I'll consider picking up the "pen" soon.

dwanreed said...

Janetta, sorry I am just now seeing this wonderful post. You are so right. Critiques are very subjective and when folks can't find some hard and fast rules as to why our work needs to be changed they need to shut up. I think this post is wonderful and you could really expand it into an article to submit somewhere.

Thanks for sharing.