a couple links to interesting posts

Since I was just talking about anxiety induced by the submissions process, read this article about the anxiety induced by the race to become published. It’s overstated in a couple places (there really are more publishable submissions than available publication slots in my belief; also, being demanding and/or going over your editor’s head has every likelihood of back-firing, which is not to say that one shouldn’t make their needs known, but there’s never a reason to have a diva moment). But the core of it is expressing a valuable lesson which I feel can also be applied to agent-hunting.

My favorite bits:

It has less to do with a worthy apprenticeship than a race to a finish line that leaves people disheartened, depressed and/or sick with envy, none of which fosters creativity. Because the game is all about getting published now, then whoever can bestow this state is the savior. Not a partner.

What I’m suggesting is that if there is desperation in the process, it should be about the work, not the contract. The passion should focus on the words, not on this contest or that, not on polishing the first three chapters for five years.

Last night, a friend who read my entry about the submission process said that it sounded a lot like getting a job in a tough market. People who send in shoddy resumes don’t make it past the front door. People who don’t have the skillset, don’t get the position. People who act like jerks don’t tend to keep the position. And so forth. And, yes, when the cash reserves are getting low and unemployment is running out, people get desperate. But bringing that desperation into the interview never gains them anything.

Also, this recent entry by suricattus which goes back to my disclaimer this morning about appreciating resources. To which I add, don’t burn bridges. The professional publishing world is a pretty small place.

One response to “a couple links to interesting posts

  1. Thank you for sharing this
    We appreciate your taking the time to share your side of the process with those of us waiting out here. Everything we can learn is invaluable to us in the process…and hopefully, in the long run, helps ease your load as well.
    I do agree with the writer of the article, there is a tremendous sense of desperation I see and feel on the part of those still working to be published. Not so much in the query letters I see, as you remarked those are business letters–resumes, and the majority (putting aside the obviously amateur and pathetic) are just that–businesslike. Sometimes confused because the ‘rules’ change so often as to who wants what, but basically they all follow the same pattern.
    It is in face to face contact with other writers, and in the writing groups and chats and workshops that I see the depth of the desperation and depression most writers face when working toward publication. ‘Write a good book’ is wonderful advice. Certainly it is the heart of everything we strive to attain, but even there the rules for what qualifies as a ‘good book’ keep changing.
    It is like preparing for that job interview only to arrive and find that the position you thought you were applying for is now a totally different venue. The frustration and desperation to understand can be overwhelming.
    Thank you for offering some glimmer of enlightenment.

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