Baby Evil Writers 101: Three Stupid Things Writers Do
So I‘ve been around publishing for a while. There have been people who should have known better than to do what they did, but went ahead and let their stupid fall out all over everything. Since you are beginning evil writers, I’ll list out the things and then you do not do them. If you go ahead and act like a mental midget, it’s your problem. I won’t try and save you. I’ll just wave good-bye and leave you in the pit that you dug for yourself.
1. Fire off a nasty email in reply to a rejection letter.
You can print it out and stomp on it. You can yell in your house. You can eat ice cream and cake and watch sappy movies and cry. There are a million things you can do instead of snapping out a rude and angry reply. Out there in publishing land, they send tons of those emails. They are not an insult to you. They are a reply to your query. If you don’t snap, that particular door is still open. Later you can send another manuscript. When you snarl and curse and bite, that door shuts forever. There are a limited number of doors. Don’t be stupid.
2. Reply negatively to a review.
Everyone gets bad reviews. If you don’t believe this fact then go and look at the top authors on Amazon. They have one star reviews. Totally you are allowed to feel badly. You can cry. You can put that reviewer’s picture on your wall and throw darts if you like. What you absolutely cannot do is to go online and refute what they posted. My suggestion is not to read reviews period. Then you are not temped to get in a cat-fight in the comments, or to fire off another terrible email which can be copy pasted and shown to the world. For goodness sake keep your dignity. No one wants to work with a toddler who throws tantrums whenever they don’t get their way. People are allowed to have an opinion—even people who don’t like your book.
3. Insult other publishing professionals.
If you are trying to be published (or if you are already there) and you disparage any other publishing professional you are shooting yourself in the foot. Do not moan about how long Agent X is taking to reply to your query. Don’t insult other people’s books—like writing scathing reviews online or elsewhere. Don’t gripe about your editor or agent. Use some common sense. Publishing as a whole may seem enormous. It isn’t. Everyone eventually knows everyone else. Yes, this is an eclectic bunch. Yes, you won’t like some of them—too bad. Put on your big kid pants and act like a grown up.
Most of this should be common sense and good manners people. Don’t make it harder than it is.