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Monday, December 21, 2009

The Christmas Desk Sweep

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

I've been hanging around the publishing industry long enough to recognize cycles at Christmas. Things slow down to a crawl. Granted, the publishing industry is typically SLOW, but the Christmas season virtually brings things to a stop with the exception of a mad desk sweep right before Christmas vacation.

What is the mad desk sweep? It's when editors clean manuscripts off their desks before they leave for Christmas break. I can't blame them for wanting to return from their Christmas vacation to a clean desk or a cleaner desk. I doubt they can completely sweep it clean because I do recognize how swamped they become with submissions. The thing that is disheartening to writers is that the sweep usually involves a multitude of rejections, not acceptions.

I've heard of authors waiting to hear on a manuscript as long as six months to a year, sometimes--more. All of a sudden they get that dreaded rejection in December. So if any of you writers have experienced a few rejections recently, take heart and know that you aren't alone. You are part of the Christmas Desk Sweep and it doesn't mean your manuscript won't find a home at a publishing house some place else at a different time.

My advice is to gird yourself up with some extra prayer. Either take a break and enjoy your family over Christmas vacation and recharge your spirit with God's wonderful Word, or use the extra time off to write the story that God has laid upon your heart. Read Scriptures on faith and hope. Fill your tank with encouragement to keep going.

Readers, write a nice note to some of your favorite authors--just to encourage them over the next few weeks. Even published authors are often a part of the Christmas Desk Sweep.