The Publishers’ Nightmare

I am the publishers’ nightmare. As a shy non-native speaker of the English language who lives overseas, I probably couldn’t be a worse candidate for the English publishing houses. However, that does not mean I would forsake my dream without a fight.

Firstly, yes, I may be shy, but that is not everything I am. It does not shape me as a person, especially because I am shy when it comes down to talking about the weather and other seemingly unimportant subjects. As long as I am not interested, I am shy. Still, once I actively get involved with anything that lies close to my heart, I basically cannot stop talking about it. That’s still a quite annoying quality, but a lot easier than not knowing what to say. To the publishing house that claimed on its site that it refused to accept work from socially awkward writers: too bad, but I am not going to show you my work. I have enough self-esteem not to give it up for your socially inacceptable standards. Do not put guidelines like that up on your site.

Secondly, yes, I may be a non-native speaker of the English language, but that does not mean I am not allowed to try. To me, writing English children’s books is much more interesting than doing so in Dutch. The former is much more lively, in contrary to the stiff Dutch vocabulary. Besides, I am officially a student of the English language. I should be able to master it at a near-native level of speech and writing, and writing is not a problem for me. I consistently get great grades on my essays, so I doubt that would be a problem. However, mastering the literary language is a self-contained skill. I may have to practice some – or a lot – more, but in the end, I will reach my goals.

Thirdly, yes, I live overseas, which may be a huge problem for English publishing houses. Most of them prefer manuscripts from actual British writers, which I am not. However, the British Islands are not that far away from where I live. Nothing but a canal – and a sea, but that would make it sound like a bigger problem – divides Great Britain and the Netherlands. I know it is a presumptious idea to ever have to cross that sea, but I can still dream, right? Plane tickets are not that expensive. I could make it.

All in all, while I may be a true nightmare for British publishers, at least I would like to disprove the reasons why I could never reach my goal. It may still be far off, but publishers, beware. I will cross that ocean, one way or the other.

9 thoughts on “The Publishers’ Nightmare

  1. I think, you’re very good. I also think that proper social graces do not make a good writer. I believe writing must be done from an observer’s perspective. As for being a non-native speaker of the English language, some of the greatest works in literature were written by non-native speakers. Cross the ocean.

  2. I relate to the first part of this so much! I’m quite the introvert and I often find myself with little to say around people I don’t know well. Small talk tends to fall dead with me and I end up just smiling awkwardly, hoping the other person understands that I’m not trying to be rude. Like you, I’m quite the opposite if the conversation drifts to a topic of interest. Then I’m full of life. Then people get to see a fuller view of me, if not a little too much. Typing it, I see how my kind of personality could come off as self-centered to some — only bothering to become involved in a conversation if it means something to me– but just because I don’t have anything to say, doesn’t mean I don’t listen. I truly enjoy listening in, even if I have nothing to contribute personally. Extroverts tend to assume I’m bored or worse, stuck up. I’m really rambling at this point lol… it was just really nice to read your post. Your English is excellent– better than that of many natives. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your nice message! I personally don’t know that many people who actually like listening to others. I am one of those, but it has occured in the past that people actually called me crazy or arrogant – especially the latter. I may come across as stuck up, I’m not sure. I don’t think you sound self-centered. From what I’ve gathered, many people here on WordPress are more like us; introverts who love their own subjects. It’s not a bad thing. 🙂

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