Risky Business

Follow the rules, Lo-Lew!

Denied. How would you handle a situation where a post you had written was rejected?

Would you have a hissy fit and act like a spoiled brat? Would you over-analyze the denial, searching for some malevolent, secret motivation as the cause?

Last week the post I wrote for Indies Unlimited was declined. That is why “Spunky’s Present to You” was rerun. I wasn’t shirking my responsibilities as a contributing author, although coming up with tantalizing topics for you week after week is challenging. I had started writing one post and suddenly gotten a brilliant idea. My epiphany was a religious satire. Rather than stifle the flow of words pouring out of my brain I wrote it, knowing as it took shape that it was a risky piece. I realized when I finished editing it that it would probably not run, but I presented it anyway. The evil mastermind declined.

The reason for the rejection is a simple one. Indies Unlimited is a safe zone. Safe from f-bombs, sex, religion, politics and general nastiness. A heated debate may break out from time to time over the proper use of the semi-colon, but we don’t allow academic discussions to deteriorate into personal attacks. There are standards here for what can be posted, and I broke a big rule. I was a naughty girl. It was a risk I needed to take and I admit it felt refreshing.

I was, of course, disappointed that the post did not run. One side of me said: it’s a satire for heavens sake, don’t people understand satire? Two of my favorite shows on TV are “Family Guy” and “The Colbert Report”, both rarely politically correct. I like to laugh even when it ends with a wince. I’ve always felt if we can’t laugh at ourselves and at our core beliefs, we can’t grow intellectually. Furthermore, if we don’t challenge ourselves and take risks, exposing ourselves to the possibility of failure, we can’t improve. As the saying goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”.

The bottom line is that I’m totally cool with the fact that Stephen Hise didn’t run the piece. I respect the high standards he and Kat are maintaining here at Indies Unlimited. And just to show that this was not about censorship, and to emphasize that he is truly an open-minded guy, here is a link to the piece on my blog. I hope you will read it. If you want to discuss the specific topic, please keep those comments on my blog. If an article you’ve written has ever been declined, please share your thoughts. Cheers!

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L. A. Lewandowski is a Contributing Author for Indies Unlimited and author of the novel, Born To Die – The Montauk Murders. For more information, please see the IU Bio Page and her blog:cultureandcuisineclub.com.

Author: L. A. Lewandowski

Lois Lewandowski graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Political Science and French Literature. A passion for life lived well is reflected in her novels, Born to Die-The Montauk Murders, A Gourmet Demise, and My Gentleman Vampire, giving readers a glimpse into the world of the beau monde. Lois lives in Tampa, Florida. Learn more at her lifestyle blog, and her Amazon author page.

13 thoughts on “Risky Business”

  1. I wrote up an article and the editing boards one woman shot it down. The guys all thought it was great. It was on PETA calling fish "sea kittens" and was suggestive satire. It happens. You rock on, post it on your own blog and keep writing.

    1. Thanks kender,

      I needed to write it, and was happy with the result. The post didn't fit the IU guidelines, but I'm ok with that.

      Satire is difficult to write, and when it's good it's brilliant. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't have our sense of humor.

      "Sea kitten" gives a great visual. I'll bet the article was funny.

    1. Hi Marcia,

      Steve and Kat want IU to be a "safe for the workplace" site. My post didn't fit those requirements.

      I am in complete agreement that we need a place where we can talk about writing in every aspect without having the water muddied by incendiary topics.

      Thanks for your comments.

  2. I get it Lois. I, for one, am glad for the 'safe zone' rules. But perhaps not for the reasons one might think. I am not a prude (well maybe a little), nor do I shrink from a good political, or even religious discussion (provided all points of view are respected). I have strong views on all of those.

    No, the reason I like our rules is that I think that IU needs to be a place that attracts many kinds of writers and readers. If we become associated with any particular political, religious or sexual opinions and biases we can alienate the very followers who will help us fulfill our stated mission – to promote and support Indie writing. We need to stand united on that. Without the rules we would become splintered and ineffective.

    1. I agree with Yvonne. I'm all for pushing boundaries and that proverbial envelope but I also want safe zone rules to ensure all voices can speak within the diverse Indie community.

      I appreciated this post, Lois. Certainly got me thinking about all things politically correct or not! 🙂

      1. It is wonderful to know that IU concentrates on topics related to writing. We can always feel comfortable opening up an email.

        I have seen a couple of other threads deteriorate on LI. The reason? The thread administrator allowed the comments to go off topic, and there are many people who simply cannot debate without personal attacks. I LOVE a good "chinwag", to quote Chris James, and am very tolerant of opposite opinions.

        Thanks for your comments.

  3. Hello Yvonne,

    I agree with you. It was one of those things – the post flowed easily as I was writing it, and I went with it.

    I appreciate that the link is provided above so those who wish can read it on my blog.

    Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  4. I really enjoyed both posts as well and I have a suggestion to make – perhaps we could have a digital 'pub' where everyone can discuss off-topic issues or just chat?

    In all other forums I have visited there is usually one thread that is designated for such general discussions. Now I know IU is not specifically a forum in the traditional sense but perhaps we could have something similar. Just a thought.

  5. I like your suggestion.

    I enjoy discussing all kinds of hot topics and have had some really wonderful discussions with a number of people from this site. I don't know if Steve would want a forum like this, we will have to seek his counsel. 🙂

    If it doesn't work here we could establish it off-site, I suppose.

    Thanks for the great idea!

  6. Lois, Nice post. I didn't know about this until you mentioned it. I like the idea that we are keeping IU what it is, a nice clean safe place to visit, with tons of infor for the indie author.

    Thanks for posting the link though, I'm off to take a look now!

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