|The Voice. 2011. Pictured: Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera,|
Cee Lo Green, and Blake Shelton. Property of NBC.
But why are you talking about The Voice? This is a writing blog!
I know that, Parenthetical Voice. But I have a point, I swear. In the first round of the show, they have "Blind Auditions." In this section, singers go out on the stage. The judges are in chairs with their backs to the stage. If they like what they hear, they hit a button that turns their chair around so they can see the singer. Sometimes one chair turns, and the performer is automatically on that coach's team. Other times two, three, or all four chairs turn, and then the singer picks whose team to be on.
Still not getting it, Kody.
I'm getting there!
So here's the thing about blind auditions. It's very, very rare that all four chairs turn. Sure, it happens sometimes, but it's not common. Most of the time one or two chairs turn. And that's still a huge success for the contestant - they are on a team! They get to compete! They can still win! The number of chairs that turn plays no part in the rest of the competition. They just need one chair to turn. One "yes."
I think I see where this is going . . .
Yeah, you probably do, Parenthetical Voice. But I'm going to say it anyway.
Some of the most talented, brilliant singers on The Voice only get one or two chairs to turn. It's not an indication of talent at all. Usually, it's about taste. Blake Shelton will turn for the country singer, because that's his genre, but Cee Lo might not. It doesn't mean the talent isn't there - it's just not his taste. Or, even if it is, it's not a style he thinks he's best fit to work with.
When pursuing publication, it's important to realize that not all the chairs will turn around.
It's a metaphor, Parenthetical Voice! Weren't you listening to my whole thing about The Voice?
Anyway, as I was saying. Not all the chairs will turn. Not all the agents will offer to represent you. Not all the publishers will want to buy your book. That doesn't mean your not talented or that your work isn't wonderful. But it's not going to be for everyone. And that's okay - that's part of being human. We all like different things.
So don't be discouraged, as you move forward in publishing, if you get rejections or passes. We all get them - even the most brilliant, talented, best-selling authors got their share of the word "no." Heck, J. K. Rowling was rejected by pretty much all the publishing houses in the UK. But then she got a "yes" and the rest is history. A very, very successful history.
Those publishers who said no to Harry Potter must be all kinds of cray . . .
I know, right?
But it happened. It didn't means he wasn't brilliant. It just meant the book wasn't for those editors. Even if they liked it, maybe they didn't think they could work with it. There are a million different factors that go into play.
So don't go in expecting all the chairs to turn for you. If they do, that's great! But if they don't, that doesn't mean you're going to fail. Whether it's one "yes" or fifty, you still achieved your goal. And that is something to be very proud of.
I still don't get the chairs.
Let it go, Parenthetical Voice. Let it go.