A few people have expressed concern that I may so focus on an editor’s expectations I will lose my voice.
As with everything in life it’s a matter of balance.
To help avoid losing my voice, I’m seeking magazines and publishers who would be interested in what I’ve already written. I’m not focusing on a single one and in turn write what I think they want.
To do so means failure.
Most readers can spot a fraud, and editors are even more attuned to a disingenuous writer. Editors (and readers) want articles or stories that come from a writer’s heart while at the same time meet their subject and grammatical needs. No matter how well written something is, if the heart isn’t in it, the words will always reflect that.
Writers also need to be careful not to allow the pendulum to swing in the opposite direction. Don’t bristle when an editor either wants specific changes and/or additions, or says, "Thanks, but this doesn’t meet our needs." Writers aren’t perfect, and many times editors can spot weaknesses we don’t see. An additional paragraph, a reworded or eliminated sentence, or a different focus on a subject isn’t going to destroy our voice. In fact, chances are an editor can help our voice sing a little bit louder and more on key. If not, well then it’s not a publication we want our name attached to anyway.
If we want our words to appear in a magazine, on the shelf of a book store, or even sell many copies of a self-published book, we need to believe in our words, but at the same time leave our ego at the door.