Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The day they stopped the press for the blogster

It will come as a surprise to readers that the blogster has a few published articles to its* name. They appeared in trade journals, the kind of slender glossy print matter that comes with membership in an organization of like-trained and like-minded individuals and entities.

One of pieces even made it into a book**, which led to arguably one of the nicest phone calls ever by a friend who enthusiastically blurted out "you got published again" before she caught her breath.

But this was not the piece for which they stopped the press.

That one happened a couple of years earlier, and it taught the blogster a several lessons. The story of the article is unremarkable up until the call by the journal's editor. One day, the blogster sat down and wrote a five or six pager about the kind of work it was doing at the time. In a fit of uncharacteristic assertiveness, the blogster sent it to The Journal***. Then it went off to some class.
Upon returning, an agitated companion said: "You had a call from the editor of The Journal about the article. She said she stopped the press and needs you to call her back today."


What's this about?

I wrote an article and sent it to them. 

You did what?

I wrote a piece and sent it to them.

Tense, the companion handed the blogster a post-it with a name and a number.

The blogster called, the editor answered and told the blogster how much fun the piece was. And yes, she liked it so much that she intended to bump another article to a future issue and print this one instead. Hence the urgency of the call. What regional chapter are you a member of, the editor asked.

I'm not a member of the organization.

Oh, you are not, the editor hesitated. The she added: Oh, well, I'll print it anyway if you sign the contract. As a member publication we don't pay authors, though.

The lessons came in the months following publication. The first one, closest to home, was that the blogster's companion never quite recovered from the episode, because, you see, the companion was supposed to be the super smart and assertive one.

The second lesson was peer feedback, which can be summarized in the perennial you can't please them all. Some in the field loved the iconoclastic take on aspects of the profession, others said it presented the field in a detrimental light. In other words, even experts take things personal.

Lesson number three would be: if you don't try you will never know if someone will stop the press for you.

* Gender neutrality is prized at the K-Landnews.
** Yes, there is some pride here.
*** We'll call it The Journal to avoid giving you details.

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