Have you experienced an exclamation point in your life recently?
No? Well, it’s time! As writers we certainly experience all the other punctuation symbols in our lives.
We have our commas – which translates into … pause and wait. Please wait for two weeks or up to twelve months for us to consider your proposal. If you haven’t heard from us within that time frame, assume we aren’t interested and feel free to submit elsewhere. Sound familiar?
Up next is the period. The ending dot that is the rejection letter. Thank you for your interest but your work does not currently meet our needs. Have a nice day. What they’re really saying is, “No. We don’t like your stuff. Period.” How can one little dot hold so much power? It can leave us in tears or worse, send us running to the freezer to dig out the Ben and Jerry’s.
The colon is an odd little critter. It’s always reminded me of one period standing on the shoulder of its sibling. Of all the punctuation marks, it’s actually one of my favorites, and I use it a great deal. I love lists so the little colon guy shows up nearly every day.
Brilliant things to include in current story:
3. _____________ (Note these are all blank)
Things to get at the store:
Chocolate chip cookies
See what I mean? I don’t know what I’d do without the colon guy.
That brings us to the question mark. She’s shy, or at least the one who lives at my house is. Every day she hops up to me and asks the same thing. “What do you want me to do today?” I shrug. She shifts her weight. “Well, can we create a new character that will make us lots of money?” I look at her and smile. She’s such a positive little thing.
But the grand pappy of them all is the exclamation point! The one that causes our heart to race when we see it in an e-mail marked urgent … and the e-mail is from an agent. The fella that is inserted into the editor’s voice when we finally receive “the call.”
God strums our souls and stirs our imagination. He allows us to write every day knowing that someone, somewhere will read our work and love it. There’s an exclamation point just waiting for each of us. That little rain drop splashing on top of the period – it IS within our reach.
Time is precious. I’ve experienced the commas, colons, periods, and question marks in life. God’s about to put an honest-to-goodness exclamation point within reach of all of us! I can feel it. I’m ready for whatever He has in store. Are you?