Not long ago there went forth from a meeting in The Mother Church a young man with a new ambition. At that gathering Christian Scientists were invited by one of the editors to become contributors to the pages of the Sentinel and Journal. Previously, with the enthusiasm of the neophyte, he had contributed several articles, but his manuscripts had been returned with the information that they were unsuitable for publication. Accompanying them, however, came some friendly criticisms and kindly counsel to try again.
From that experience came a lesson which the young writer resolved should be profitable. If his efforts had failed, seemingly, to impress the editors, there must be a reason,— some error, lack of preparation, faulty application, which needed correction. Not until the occasion of the inspiring meeting, however, did this student of Christian Science decide to try again. Meanwhile, a sense of resentment and injustice over the rejection of former articles had given place to a feeling of gratitude that a busy editor and his assistants had found time to send a word of helpful advice. With the positive conviction that only by heeding those friendly recommendations could he hope to realize his possibilities for service, and with a desire that his experience might prove helpful to others, he went forth from the meeting eager to set about his new endeavors.
As a working basis, this student decided to systematize his efforts; to devote a certain number of hours each day to reading, making notes on the subject of his article; and to let nothing hinder this work. Writers of established reputation pursued this method. Why should not he also? His former experience had taught him that young contributors to the periodicals often make mistakes which a little painstaking care would enable them to avoid. He had learned, furthermore, that the pages of the Sentinel and Journal represent individual and collective growth, that one's aim should be to portray the idea unfolded in consciousness through some experience or demonstration. Mere raw material, in the form of things seen and experience lived, must be molded and polished into expressed ideas about them, which should bring increased unfoldment to the whole field.