Saturday, December 02, 2006

To Write Or Not To Write:

Searching for a Compelling Reason That Clears the Conscience

by Zubli Zainordin

In writing and publishing, always at the outset there is a guideline. In this context, a guideline is a straight line drawn to serve as an agreement between the writer and the publisher. Whatever shall be the outcome in the future, both parties may later recall and refer to the agreement set in the guideline. This is one of the purposes of a guideline.

Yes...the guideline can be considered as a turn on or a turn off, by both the writer and the publisher. When the guideline has been set, the writer has the freedom to choose whether to write or not to write. That is his or her right. The choice of course depends on the reason and then followed by the act to incline, recline, or decline. On a similar ground, the publisher has the freedom to choose whether to publish or not to publish. That is his or her right. The choice of course depends on the reason to accept, shelve, or reject.

Normally a guideline spells out at an early stage, exactly what is the result intended. The guideline specifies the picture with the end in mind. The details include the aspects, the components, the contents, the dimensions, the elements, the factors, the features, the format, the parameter, the rules, and the space. Based on these details, the writer and the publisher then are able to see the same picture as the end result.

So should there be a guideline in the first place? Should there be no guideline at the outset, and the writer is given freedom and flexibility to write, the publisher shall see exceptional written materials. However, the attitude of come what may, can include the submission of mediocre types of written materials. So a guideline should be mentioned in the beginning so that between the writer and the publisher there is a commonsense rather than nonsense in terms of the value of the final publication.

Should there be a guideline at the start, and the writer is imposed with limitations and stringencies to write, the publisher shall see written materials that are exceptional yet pleasing to his or her heart. However, the attitude you shall write this way, may not extend nor expand the writer’s ability to explore the subject or topic, where the sky is not the limit. So a guideline may provide a range between the possibilities and the impossibilities, so much so that the writer and the publisher, ultimately achieves a win-win shared advantage.

Allow me to relate my story. When I received an email from Yvonne Perry, inviting article submissions for this newsletter, there is a clearly stated guideline that the font should be set at 12 points. At first glance, I was asking myself whether to write or not to write. Whatever is my decision, and whatever I shall choose after that, to me there must be a reason. So I search deep the very center of my being, and then I remembered what F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you’ve got something to say.” In addition, coming back to her email, I read below the guidelines where Yvonne Perry cleverly wrote, “I look forward to hearing from you.” So you are now hearing from me because I look forward too. Thus, this is one of the articles published, and you are now reading it, out of the many articles that either were not submitted or were not selected, in accordance to the guidelines provided by Yvonne Perry to ensure Writer in the Sky is flying high.

Zubli Zainordin, is a bibliophile and an author. More info at: He has written articles since 1973, and most recently he wrote, 7 Qualities of Exceptional Book Authors.

No comments: