Offer and Acceptance

contract

Apologies if that title was misleading. I’ll say it right up front: no one has offered a contract to publish my book, which makes it go without saying that I haven’t accepted any offers to publish my book.

I was, however, recently thinking about the business law class I took in college. We talked about contracts, and how when one party makes an offer, the second party must accept before the contract is binding. There are different ways a person or business can show acceptance without actually saying, “I accept your offer.”

I found the words “offer” and “acceptance” interesting, especially because you can find a deeper or double meaning in them aside from their legal definitions.

(Which reminds me–if you like that sort of thing, Jennifer Griffith has written a whole series taking legal phrases and putting a rom com twist on them: Asked & Answered, Attractive Nuisance, Mergers & Acquisitions, etc. I’ve read several and they are fun, light romances, and all have some plot point involving lawyers and the law. Her books always make me laugh. Check them out here if you’re interested.)

What was I talking about? Oh, right. Offer and acceptance.

As a writer, you come to a weird sort of balance between humility and big-headedness. On the one hand, you think, “Why would anyone want to read what I have to say? I’m nothing special.” And on the other, you think, “The way I say this is different from everyone else in the entire world, so I need to put it out there. The world needs to hear this!”

Except it’s a bit tempered from either of those extremes, at least for me. I think, yeah, I’m a tiny bit special in some ways, but also that the world will be perfectly fine if I never say anything.

There’s a lot of noise in today’s world. Between social media, television, and the Internet, a person has to make a conscious effort to find the quiet. Who am I to be adding to the noise?

I’m never going to be famous. I don’t think I even want to be famous. But I have words to say, and perhaps even stories to tell, so I’m going to work on telling them.

Which leads me back to offer and acceptance.

The reason I thought of the phrase in the first place is because I was thinking about writing while doing something else (like ya do) and wondered why it can be so paralyzing to get words on paper sometimes. I concluded it had to do with vulnerability. Sometimes, what we write leaves us bare. And when we put it out there, for other people to look at, and possibly mock, it can be frightening.

I’m working at overcoming certain fears in my life, and letting go of the idea that I can control things. Some people will like my writing (Hi, Dad!). And others–when taken statistically against the population of the earth, or the country, or even my city, I would say most others–won’t. It’s okay. I’m okay.

I’ll still offer my words. The readers can choose whether or not to accept them.

 

6 thoughts on “Offer and Acceptance

  1. This is so accurate. I once read in a book on writing conflict/action/suspense, that there’s a contract between the reader and the writer. The reader offers the contract: “Tell me a story.” The writer accepts. Then, if the writer delvers on the contract (by actually telling the story), the reader delivers payment (by reading the story.) It is our duty to fulfill our end of the contract. Forever, readers are waving the contract in our faces. Will we tell the story? If so, the contract gets fulfilled.

    Whoops. Your post was so compelling, I forgot to say THANK YOU for mentioning my legal books! 🙂 I appreciate you! I’m excited to read your book one day! Soon, I hope.

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