A while ago, I had a funny experience in a drug store. Not ha-ha funny, but odd funny. On the one hand, it was a small incident of little significance, but I couldn’t shake it. Naturally, I wrote about it–a brief vignette of a moment that bugged me.
Sometimes, it is difficult to know if a piece works or falls flat. I was unsure about this one, so I read it at the Newark Arts Alliance‘s monthly Open Mic. After years (okay, decades) of public readings, I know how to judge an audience’s level of interest. This piece captured their attention. The giveaway was the laughter and applause when I gave the punch line.
Laughter and applause. Always a sign that a piece makes it point.
What goes over well in a reading does not necessarily hit home on paper, but I rewrote the piece and sent it out during my 40 days of submissions. It received an almost immediate acceptance from an online magazine for women, but when it came time to work through edits, the editor and I disagreed on the punch line. When we couldn’t come to an agreement, I pulled the piece with her blessing. It wasn’t hostile. We just didn’t see eye to eye. It happens.
I sent it out again, had another quick acceptance, and this time the editor and I agreed just fine.
Perseverance. That’s today’s lesson. Sometimes you have to move on to find the right spot for your writing. I could have wasted a lot of time trying to wrangle that piece into the shape the editor wanted, but I didn’t. As you can see from “I’m Sick of Being Invisible,” at betterafter50.com, I value my time. Check it out and make a comment?