Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How's Busyness?

Busy, busy, and more busy is the best way I can describe this last month. I have sent out over 142 sets of guidelines and received around 100 submissions so far. Besides all of the other busyness of life, I really try to spend quality time working on the submissions and with the authors who have sent them.

See, I am not one of those who can just look at the submission and stamp it with either an acceptance or a rejection. On my soapbox, I think it would yield many more great writers (and less putting out unedited works in self-publishing venues) if publishing companies had "rejection departments" to explain to writers why their work "is not something they can use at this time."

As an editor, I desire to find the jewels in the writing I review and then to help the writer polish them. I'm finding it easier to search for treasure in the submissions I've received for this book because I have such a clear vision of the end product. Understanding this vision has given me more understanding of the Scripture that says, "Without a vision, the people perish." I can see how having a clear vision creates much less confusion than a person might have with just a foggy idea or a shadowy dream.

In addition to finding jewels, I want to offer encouragement to writers at all levels. I strongly agree with the quote, "Honesty without compassion is cruelty" and try to be extremely gentle and caring whenever I must tell a writer that his or her work is less than perfect. It's my golden rule as a writer since the more I learn about the craft, the more I cringe when I read my own previous works - both accepted and rejected. So far, the responses I've received from my critiques have encouraged me because writers have found them to be helpful and given with compassion.

Well, I could write more, including telling you all about the changes I've made to the guidelines and such, but I've got sleep calling and a busy day tomorrow. I'm trying to get as much work done as possible this week as my next two weeks may see me having little to no time with writing as I serve jury duty for the first time ever. If my jury call causes me to get too far behind, I will extend the submission deadline from September 30th to October 20th. I would like to be completely done with editing before November so I can once again participate in National Novel Writers Month (NaNoWriMo) in November.

On the jury duty, I ask for much prayer that I will also use honesty and compassion, and that God will lead me in every choice from what I am chosen to serve for to the decisions I must make during the service. I do not consider service on a jury to be a light thing because one way or the other, it will affect someone's future. If anyone has a prayer or piece of advice, feel free to comment or drop me a line. My comments are moderated, but I'll try to get to them as quickly as I am able.

I sign off with sincere thanks to everyone who has requested guidelines, submitted devotions, and for all those who have prayed for me and this project and sent blessings my way. May all of you be blessed with true shalom (peace that passes understanding) in every moment you live - and write - for our wonderful Creator and Savior.

~Crystal

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