Smart Little Devils Know Not to Burn Bridges
It may seem like I take the bus then walk to work everyday because I can't afford a car, but really it's because I have magical powers. Planeteer powers. I'm just cool like that.
Or at least that's what I like to pretend. Please don't try to wake me from my delusions. The consequences can be rather...messy.
Anywho, I was being a good little ecologically responsible commuter the other day when I came across a most unpleasant man. He just simply couldn't endure a ten second interruption in his busy schedule. So even though I had the right of way to cross the intersection, he decided to take as much action as most cowardly assholes ever take. He honked. And honked again. And again. As I flipped him off, I wondered why some people feel the need to be so damned rude. (No need to point out the hypocrisy there. I'm well aware of it.)
When did people develop such a sense of entitlement that they are incapable of basic social niceties like respect and courtesy? I don't remember people being so crabby when I was a kid. Does asking this make me sound as old as I think it does? Next thing you know, I'll be saying, "That's not music. It's just noise!" or "Damn kids, get off my lawn!" Well, I certainly ramble like I'm an old fogey so I might as well just resign myself to the inevitable, buy a condo in Florida, dye my hair purple and be done with it.
I swear I have a point in all of this nonsense, and it does relate to writing. Eventually. Maybe I should just do myself (and everyone else) a favour and focus for a second.
There are plenty of blogs out there written by newbie writers like me who like to rant and rave about submissions and rejections and how much the whole system sucks like the suckiest suck that ever sucked. And for every one of those, there are blogs written by publishers and editors and other people in the industry who like to rant and rave about submissions and rejections and how much newbie writers whine like the whiniest whines that ever whined.
There are two sides to every story. As writers we should be able to put ourselves into someone else's shoes. So maybe (just maybe) the publisher who passed on your awesomely awesome novel isn't the love child of Satan and an earwig. Or maybe they are. They probably are. Odds are pretty good that they are. But that's neither here nor there. What matters is that even though you'd love to defend your literary baby against the mean old meany who rejected it, it's better to just walk away.
Why you ask? What would it hurt to tell that snooty editor just what you think of them and their stupid publishing house and their stupid submission standards? After all, they've already passed on your masterpiece so what do you have to lose?
Well, first of all, once you start submitting your work, doesn't that mean you consider yourself a professional writer? If so, then acting professional should be a given. But if that's not good enough to inspire politeness, then just take a look at me.
In 2008, I received a rejection letter from Mundania Press. I had passed their first two reviews, but failed on the third. I didn't get an explanation why. That was that, as far as I knew.
I could have thrown a tantrum and emailed them a piece of my mind. It certainly would have made me feel better. But I kept my sharp tongue in check, and thank goodness for that. A couple months later, I received another email saying that they wanted to take another look at Thief.
Had I sent a bitchy reply back to them when they rejected me, do you think they would have bothered contacting me again? Hells no! Never severe a potential business relationship just to satisfy your ego. Common courtesy could be the only thing standing between you and a publishing contract.
Publishers are people too. At least I think so. They've got feelings and they've got memories. And don't think for a second that they don't have lists. Everyone has a list. I certainly have a list. It gets longer every day.
So a friendly warning to rude honking driver man. When the zombie apocalypse begins, and I'm the only chick around with a battle plan and a bazooka, don't be surprised if I "accidentally" mistake you for the undead or "unintentionally" lock you out of the safehouse just seconds before you get swarmed. It's purely just an oversight on my part, I swear. Cross my heart.
Have a nice day!