Expect the Unexpected By Diane Stark

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For a few years, I’ve had a really great idea for a children’s book. It was one of those ideas that wouldn’t leave me alone. It kept me awake at night, just begging me to write it. So although I wasn’t a children’s writer, I knew this idea was too good to ignore.

I wrote my story and I loved the way it came out. It was funny, yet heart-warming, and it even taught a lesson. I sent it out to several children’s book publishers, and I fully expected to receive acceptances from several of them. I even imagined the bidding war my fabulous book would cause.

But as the months wore on, all I got were rejection notices. More of them than I could count. It was so disheartening. My book, the one I thought was so wonderful, had been rejected by every publishing house I’d sent it to.

My husband encouraged me to find an agent, but I couldn’t stand the thought of any additional rejection letters for my poor book. I thought about self-publishing, but money was tight so I just decided to put the project on hold for a while and re-visit the self-publishing option at a later date.

My great idea, which turned out to be not-so-great, sat on my hard drive for over a year.

But still, it didn’t leave me alone. Something in me just couldn’t let go of it.

Then one day, I saw a listing in a Writer’s Weekly newsletter for a children’s magazine. As soon as I read their guidelines, I knew that this magazine would be the perfect market for my rejected book idea.

I did some minor edits and sent the story to the kids’ magazine. They bought it – and asked me if I had any more! (I’ve since become a regular contributor to their magazine.)

I thought my great idea would make a good children’s book, but as it turned out, it was better suited for the magazine market.

The moral of the story: If you really believe in an idea, don’t give up on it. It will find a good home eventually, but it may be different than what you expected. And sometimes, the unexpected can be better than you ever hoped.

Diane Stark is a former teacher turned stay-at-home mom and freelance writer. Her work has been published in 13 Chicken Soup for the Soul books, A Cup of Comfort for Christian Women and dozens of magazines. She is the author of “Teachers’ Devotions to Go,” a devotional book for teachers. She can be reached at DianeStark19-at-yahoo.com.

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