Every once in a while I like to depress myself by reading author blogs, and yesterday I came across a doozy.
Let me clarify… I love reading the post authors do about what they’re working on, book tours, giveaways, and all that jazz. However, and I know all you aspiring writer’s out there can feel me on this one, I cannot stand reading some of the advice they give to new writers. Mainly because they always say “It’s actually not that hard. Most of you think too much, which makes it hard. But it’s really not. See, here’s a sample of my query letter…”
It’s fucking hard. (Excuse me. I’m fluent in French). We know it’s hard, they know it’s hard. It is goddamn difficult. It’s not a secret that the chances of any of us getting actually published are slim to absolute zero, so don’t sit there and type out how easy it was for you….even if you got sixty rejections before you heard the two yeses you needed.
That being said, at least we can fall back on the fact that most authors divulge this information in a nice way. People ask for advice, so authors give it to be helpful.
“Then why is paragraph #3 so angry, Sidney?” You may ask. Well, I’m about to tell you.
I came across an author blog yesterday who took it upon his/herself to tell all aspiring authors that the reason they don’t get picked up by an agent is simply because they “suck”. I am not a published author, I have no right to tell someone something about their writing one way or the other. Seeing as this person is a published novelist, whom people clearly look up to for direction, I feel like he/she could do a much better job than saying “you just suck”. Most people don’t expect to find the holy grail of publishing secrets in a blog post, so the very least you can give is a more elaborate explanation.
Common knowledge will tell you to get as many people as you can to look your writing over before sending it out. Edit like a fiend. Take the constructive criticism rejection letters offer, if any. It is not an easy road to getting published. You are extremely lucky if that road presents itself to you at all in your life time. However, tearing each other down isn’t the way to handle this inevitable fact. There are a number of other ways to speak the truth then by being a dick.
I’m not afraid to give blunt truths. This is just my opinion. I’m putting it out there for the world to see. I really enjoy helping my traditionally published, as well as self published friends with feedback or promotions. I hope that if I ever do something amazing, they will be there for me. Having friends is much more satisfying than making enemies.