Getting something published, anything published, is a sweet accomplishment. Regardless of it being an online blog (wink), a journal, an info-edit on Wikipedia, or that illusive but epic n-o-v-e-l, we do enjoy seeing our work out there.
However, what do we do if a spouse or family member has some work of literary brilliance in the works as well? We know that we must keep writing, upwards and onwards, in order to keep our skills up to snuff. So, what do we do if our family member wants us to help them get their work published? It’s hard enough to get our own material out there.
So, my spouse wrote a children’s ‘A-B-C’ book that is a unique style that I have never seen before in any of the numerous versions out there. I know; I’m happily biased.
My spouse took the normal path and sent out samples and cover letters to several publishers. And, like all of us, she received several rejection letters. Since collecting endless streams of rejection letters is not one of my spouse’s strong points, I wasn’t too surprised when she put this excellent work on the back-burner. There were other, more important things for her to focus her efforts. At least those things gave her more immediate, more fulfilling results.
As I briefly diverted my attention from my own meteoric rise in literary excellence (guffaw…guffaw), I decided to pick up my wife’s manuscript give it the ol’ peruse. I read it once…twice…and loved it more each time. There was something solid there.
I asked my spouse if she wanted to renew her interest in her book concept, but she politely declined. She’d given her creative genius to the script and that was her limit. Yet, I felt very strongly that her book had a place in the A-B-C book universe. So, with my spouse’s permission, I volunteered to pick up the flag and run with it.
Off goes the manuscript to my favorite editor; off goes the interest letters to a few illustrators, seeking sample pages; out comes the growing list of possible publishers. If I’m successful, my spouse will get all of the credit.
Not surprisingly, I’m perfectly fine with this. Taking time out to help another rise in the biz will take quite a bit of time and you’ll end up shouldering some of the same highs and lows that your spouse felt; however, when success finally arrives, you’ll get to share the joy. And isn’t that what this talent is really about…spreading the joy.