Thursday, November 29, 2012

Relationships: Don't be an ass

Let me start this post with a disclaimer. I have been incredibly fortunate in my publishing journey. I have had a truly fantastic experience with my editors, publishers, and authors I’ve encountered. Even my critique partners take my comments without throwing on some war paint and screaming for my blood. I’m like a goddamn unicorn.

Okay, now that the disclaimer is aside, let’s get this shit started.

We’ve all heard that writing (and publishing) is a business. We’ve hopefully all figured that out and aren’t currently acting like Speshul Snowflake asshats.

What we don’t often talk about is that publishing your writing is like a goddamn relationship. Yep, you heard right. A relationship. Guess what, darlings? Relationships take a whole lot of work. And you know what else? It takes two (or more, you freaky-freak, you!).

We’ve all heard the horror stories. Publishers who treat their authors like shit and then wonder why said authors go elsewhere. Editors who don’t respond to email after email. The list goes on and on. But it’s not just those big bad publishing houses who drop the ball.

Quite frankly, you don’t have a damn bit of control if they do or not. It’s like the cute boy who you think is so damn awesome and gives you butterflies at first, and then…suddenly you realize you really hate the way he disappears for days on end and leaves his dirty socks in the living room.

Now, in the face of this, it’d be easy to wail and gnash your teeth and basically just throw up your hands in despair.

I call bullshit. That work that goes into relationships? It goes both ways. There are countless authors who habitually miss deadlines. Authors who half ass it on their edits. Authors who say, “That’s good enough.”

You can’t expect your editor/publisher/etc. to bust ass for you if you’re not going to put in the work on your side of things. That’s the equivalent of saying, “Woman, you’re hot. You don’t have to be on time to your dates, or be polite, or considerate, and basically you can act like an asshole… but it’s okay, because you’re PRETTY.”

Well, darlings. Pretty is as pretty does, and there’s no excuse to act like a Speshul Snowflake inside ANY relationship. Be considerate. Bust your ass. You’ll benefit from it in the long (and short) run.

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