Things Not To Do (Writerly Wednesday on a Tuesday Edition)

I’ve addressed this before, and sadly, it looks like it needs to be said again: Publishing is absolutely full of rejection.

You will be rejected.

Did you hear that?


If you can’t deal with that, you are in the wrong business. People judge you every single day. Sometimes it sucks. And yet, it comes with the territory and the only thing you can control is your own behavior.

To Wit: This post at Colleen Lindsay’s blog wherein one Patrick Roscoe gets a form rejection and loses his shit instead of accepting reality.

I know he’s not the only one. I’ve heard agents and editors talk about the nastygrams they get from writers when they’re rejected and I’m always left wondering what the hell is wrong with people.

Here’s the deal – let me repeat – YOU WILL BE REJECTED. If you can’t deal with that, you are in the wrong business.

Not every book is right for every agent or editor. Not every author is right for every agent or editor. It’s almost always a matter of right book, right agent, right time. In other words, part skill, part luck, part fit.

A rejection in most cases isn’t personal. I’m sure Colleen Lindsay didn’t have some terrible hate on for Roscoe (though what sort of asshole refers to women he’s not dating or related to as “babe” in professional correspondence?). Whatever he submitted wasn’t right for her. She said so and that should have been it.

There is absolutely NO reason for an author to write a nastygram to someone after a rejection. None. Even if she’d written back and said, “Dear Roscoe, you suck, don’t quit your day job” he should have shined it on and kept going. You RESIST the urge to write back and trumpet your brilliance to the person who just said no to you. And you keep writing and submitting because the only way to get an agent, if you want one, is to continue subbing until you find the right fit.

A sure way not to do that is to write a nastygram to a person of some power in the arena you want to succeed in and alienate them. (oh and to insult the authors already repped by that agent, LOL)

This is a small business. People talk. Your reputation is something that should matter. Only the very brilliant who sell craptons of books get to act like dickwads. Being a dickwad isn’t special, they’re a dime a dozen. Being an author? Well, I happen to think it’s pretty awesome. I’d choose to be one over a dickwad any day and keep my annoyed commentary about people who don’t recognize my brilliance to my BFFs.

Keep your shit together.
Keep trying.
Keep honing your craft.
Keep civil and respectful.

Really, it’s not that mysterious.

Oh and if you don’t want to be outed as a dickwad, don’t send other people nastygrams or you might end up as an object lesson too. Which would suck.

2 comments to “Things Not To Do (Writerly Wednesday on a Tuesday Edition)”

  1. Roni Griffin
    April 13th, 2010 at 12:36 pm · Link

    *takes mental note* don’t be a dickwad


    I’m always amazed at the people who think going off on an agent like that is going to win them any points with anyone. I used to be a corporate recruiter and it was the same thing when I turned people down for jobs. Like, lady, you made a mistake, you don’t know what you’re missing! No. Really. I do. Thanks.

  2. azteclady
    April 13th, 2010 at 3:54 pm · Link

    Lauren, my love for you knows no bounds.

    (thank you)