One of my targets for these articles was a magazine for Lutheran women called Scope. I read the magazine regularly and had a thorough grounding in being a Lutheran so I thought it would be a cinch. It wasn't.
My pile of rejections was growing. I had learned that it was important to keep trying. I could quote (at the time) how many rejections the author of "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" had endured before finally finding a publisher for his hit book. Rejections are learning tools and I carefully scoured each one: at first for signs that someone had truly read it, and later for the tiny comments a sympathetic editor had given me.
Imagine my delight when I received a LETTER from the editor for Scope. Well, that was the first reaction. The second was puzzlement. She wrote that she liked the first part of my article but not the second. She wanted my permission to edit out the material she didn't want. Writing class had never covered that. What was I to do? How could I meet her request not as a hopeful writer, but as a professional.
I gave it some thought. It was clear that she wanted to buy the first half. I looked at my text. Yes, it seemed to be in two parts, but I strongly felt that they worked together. But. . . . the editor only wanted the first half.
I could just say "Yes, Do it." or I could pretend (that's how I felt) to be a professional and give her what she wanted - only better. Carefully preserving the original (apparently two piece article) I retyped just the first part, giving it what I hoped was a smooth beginning and ending that fit the part I KNEW the editor wanted.
I sent the new version to her the next day. That was followed by a nice letter with a check attached to it. I was jubilant.
I'd learned a lesson - to trust the editor when she critiques your work. She knows what she wants for her magazine. I learned that a professional acts like one. Sure, you want blue instead of green? I can do that.