Last fall I attended my first PechaKucha Night in Bozeman. If you’re not familiar with PechaKucha, it’s a model for delivering presentations in a 20×20 format. The presenter shows 20 images for 2o seconds each, and gives remarks that are paced to match the length for each image on display. One of the presentations was on Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Amidst all the fascinating facts about Pirsig, I was stunned to learn that he got 121 rejections for Zen before William Morrow Publishers accepted it. I was awed by Pirsig’s perseverance and chided myself to be more vigilant in seeking new outlets for my writing.
Fast forward to the 2012 holiday season. I spent a good deal of my spare time crafting pitches to publications that seemed like a good fit for my work. Then I spent too much time checking my email for responses that never arrived. Perhaps publishers took more time to actually write rejections in Pirsig’s pre-electronic age. Nowadays we’re so bombarded with e-communications that the ease of sending a reply just may not be worth the bother. Zillions of online media sources do increase a writer’s chances of being published, but the difficulty of getting an editor’s attention in cyberspace is still an enormous challenge.
Eventually I did hear from both the Jewish Women’s Archive and Tikkun. The result is two short pieces about my search for a Jewish identity and sense of community in both the U.S. and Germany. Here are the links: Jewish Identity: A Round Trip Journey and Finding and Building Jewish Community in Germany.