Thanks so much for all your thoughtful responses last week. I gained a great deal from reading and pondering them. This week, I’d like to take a look from the other side of the desk. As an author myself, I know how hard the writing gig is. And I know a LOT of authors, published and not, who have hit speed-bumps -or even felt like the Editor/Publisher/Agent semi just flattened them in the middle of the publishing highway. As hard as agents’/editors’ jobs may be, the author’s job is pretty tough too. You spend months and years working on your craft, only to have everyone tell you how to do it better. And then there are the lovely people who keep asking when you’re going to get a real job, or would you mind baby-sitting today since you don’t have a job, or any of a multitude of other ignorant comments that nibble at us like rabid ducks as we struggle to be creative.
Sadly, the criticism and ignorance doesn’t end when you get published. Just read some of the reviews on Amazon, Christianbook.com, or Barnes&Noble. Or ask an author to share his or her reader letters with you. I know one group of writers that gets together once a year and gives out a prize for the worst review/reader letter. Some of them are, to say the least, brutal. Let’s face it, when your words are on the printed page, you can pretty much know someone isn’t going to like what you said or how you said it. And the ol’ Internet has made it waaaay too easy for folks to share their blistering thoughts.
No, writing isn’t easy. Not by a long shot.
So here’s what I’d like to do. As a writer pointed out a few weeks ago, lots of agents and editors and publishers post blogs telling authors what to do and why. But where do writers get to share their needs? Well…right here. Right now.
I want you to share your thoughts on “The Care and Feeding of Writers.” What should agents and editors keep in mind as they work with you? What one, driving thing would you like to say to them? Don’t be unkind or snarky, but do be honest.
I posted this question on my Facebook page a few days ago. Here are some of the responses:
- “Just tell me what to do!”
- “Don’t send out my work before reading it and helping me hone my story/skills.”
- “Write A must read on Facebook for your clients’s books….”
- “Don’t make us wait so long for responses to queries/submissions. Also, it would be incredibly helpful in the CBA is if there were a running list somewhere of genres publishers are actively seeking.”
- “Have a sense of humor.”
- “Give new authors a chance.”
- “Let us know you’ve submitted our work somewhere, like a copy of the letter you sent, etc. And a phone call once every three months would be nice.”
- “Talk to me. Tell me the good and the bad. Let me know when things are working or not working so I can keep on writing.”
So what say you? What one thing would you like to say to the agents/editors out there?