In the summer of 2012, I had the marvelous idea of expanding Beneath the Tangles’ reach by trying my hand at journalism. I would approach publications with pitches for articles about anime to see if they were interested in working with me. I was a bit apprehensive because unlike, say, Lauren Orsini, I have no journalism experience. Still, I went at it with determination, exploring different websites that might be responsive to pitches, and soon finding that if I wanted to write about the intersection of anime and Christianity, my options might be limited.
If I remember correctly, I submitted to several websites and publications, but in the end, I received just one response. But like a gift from God, that response came from the major evangelical Christian website, one with a very large readership. In addition the obvious benefits of writing for a big site, I was very excited on a more personal level. The website was one of my favorites throughout my twenties. I was elated that the its culture and media editor was interested in my article.
With the go-ahead given, I wrote the article and was promptly paid by the publication (another pleasant surprise). We spent about a month revising the article, as my editor patiently guided me in crafting a piece fit for publication. It was a wonderful learning experience, and I was grateful to have someone patiently shape my writing.
Once we finished, I was notified that the article would likely post around January 2013. So I waited several months until the new year came. Eventually, January came and went without a peep. I contacted my editor again to find that he had left the company. He directed me to the new editor*, who was immediately less responsive to my writing, and he eventually (though kindly) let me know that he decided to pass on my article.
The rejection was painful. Although I had mentioned the piece was coming up to a number of people, it wasn’t the embarrassment of getting ahead of myself that pained me, but more the idea that I had achieved something worthwhile, something that made me feel very proud, and suddenly it was no more, taken away in a simple email. I suppose this is the life of a journalist – one that, with my thin skin, I’m glad I never pursued!
I later tried to find a home for the article elsewhere, but to no avail. Still, I’m proud of the piece that my editor and I created. And so, though it’s written for an audience with little knowledge of anime, I’ll post it here on Beneath the Tangles tomorrow for you all to read. If it couldn’t find its place at the site it was intended for, I’m glad my article at least has this blog to call home.
*This editor is pretty well-known for his writings on Christianity and culture and in an unusual twist, I used some of his material in a course I taught at my church last semester about that topic.