megwrites: Reading girl by Renoir.  (Default)
[personal profile] megwrites
How NOT to be a professional.

I'm getting tired of seeing other writers, especially aspiring ones like myself, take such an oppositional tack when it comes to agents. For all that agents are accused of thinking of us writers as barely worthwhile scum on their shoes, it seems like plenty of authors feel the same way about agents.

Plus, have you ever heard of a writer arguing with a rejection and getting a positive result? Getting representation? Getting a book deal? I haven't yet, and I'd be surprised if it's ever happened in the history of modern publishing.

When it comes to dealing rejection, I suggest allowing yourself to feel what you're feeling. After nearly 35 rejections (since April) of the current novel out on query, I certainly am feeling a lot of things, not all of them warm and fuzzy. Feel frustrated, upset, depressed, even angry. But no matter what you feel. No matter how sorely disappointed you are, ACT professionally.

Your feelings are your own, and I don't believe in listening to anyone who tells you what is and isn't right to feel. I don't believe in telling writers, "don't take it personally". Telling a writer not to take it personally is like telling water not to be wet. You invest years of your life in something, it's personal. Feeling like you're helpless when it comes to the fate of a manuscript you've had total control over can send you around the bend.

However, these feelings should not dictate your actions. Be as emotional as you like, but do not ACT out of those emotions. Act out of professionalism. And for the record? Professionalism is just another word for mutual respect. Your feelings are not an agent's business, but your actions are. There's no rule that says that you must actually be smiling on the inside when you grin and bear it - but that doesn't excuse you from grinning and bearing it like an adult.

Whether or not you feel professional, act that way. Because that's how you'll become one.

Speaking of rejections, I got a shiny new one in the inbox. This brings the Query Score Card up to:


Rejections: 7

Requests: 1

Timed Out: 2

Still Pending: 8


ETA: Borked math on the Query Score Card.

Date: 2009-09-27 03:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cericonversion.livejournal.com
This is precisely the right balance, IMHO. Feel. Know what you're feeling. Deal with both that and the situation appropriately.

Date: 2009-09-27 04:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fiction-theory.livejournal.com
Deal with both that and the situation appropriately.

Precisely. Besides, writing is the one profession where you're expected to be Making Things Up and Playing Pretend. So, you know, pretend like you're a grown up every once and a while and Just Say No.

Date: 2009-09-27 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fashionista-35.livejournal.com
And once again, doesn't it always seem to be a guy? I hate that sort of generalization but the rudest responses of this sort, that smack of entitlement, seem to come from male authors. Why is that I wonder?

And *hugs* on the rejection, but you're handling it well.

Date: 2009-09-27 04:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fiction-theory.livejournal.com
And once again, doesn't it always seem to be a guy?

This one of the few areas in life where I hope we ladies never catch up. And yeah, it does seem to come from the Blowhard Y-Chromosome crowd, doesn't it? I wonder if it is gender-related entitlement or just coincidence myself. Although, it may be that women have social conditioning to "be nice" and "don't hurt other people's feelings" whereas men don't get that message shoved into their heads in quite the same way.

Of course, I'm sure as soon as I post this reply, some female writer out there will make that push for equality and do something equally as *headdesk* inducing.


And *hugs* on the rejection, but you're handling it well.

Aww, you're only saying that because you didn't see me kicking the furniture! :) In all seriousness, though, I hope I am. And please feel free to administer a Sharp Slap to the Face if I ever get out of line like that guy.

Date: 2009-09-28 01:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fashionista-35.livejournal.com
What, you think I don't kick furniture? Not that I imagine editors sitting in the chairs as I tip them over or anything... no.... not at all...

And I promise to knock you upside the head if you promise the same.

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