Thursday, January 28, 2010

Irregular Verb Conjugation for the Unpublished

I first drafted this post over a month ago, after reading post in which the author wrote, "I write, you write, we all write, and we all get rejected."

That reminded me of those old verb conjugation charts -- I am; you are; he/she/it is -- and also of an old joke about the conjugation of sexual behavior: I am erotic, you are kinky, they are perverted.

(That's going to bring me some unwanted Google hits. Anyway.)

Then today I read the INTERN's post on publishing "Evil". Go read it. I'll wait.

If you also read the comments, you'll see that I responded that the perception of "evil" in publishing as follows:

It's a writer-conjugation thing:

I am noble.
You are commercial.
They are evil.

Same thing with the reason our queries were rejected:

They are unprofessional and untalented.
You are close, but not good enough.
I was robbed.
I'm joking, but I'm not, right? My original post (as drafted a month ago) was going to be about that "conjugation for queriers" and I was going to try to make it funny.

But we see this attitude everywhere among wanna-be writers... and it's not that funny. Sure, we all like to blow off steam now and then, but (and I alluded to this in my Shiny Tiara Power post) that kind of thinking can get self-destructive really fast. The post from the INTERN worries me, because it means it's not just private steam-blowing anymore. Now it's becoming part of the language of the debate.

We should be in this because we love to write. We should be in this to make friends.

Who is an author/agent/editor/industry professional-blog-friend you appreciate? I'm going to give a shout-out to Jody Hedlund, because I'm pretty sure she was the first person to follow my blog, and because she has a lovely, thoughtful, professional, giving-back-to-the-community blog herself. We don't write the same stuff, we don't live in the same area, we would never have met at any conference, but we both care about the craft of writing, and we both want to write as a vocation. And I'm delighted that I met her on my path to publication.

I write, you write, she writes, we all get rejected. Stick TOGETHER, people.

Name someone good-hearted in the comments. This "evil" publishing talk is garbage and we should help put an end to it.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. There was a post, don't quote me, but I think it was called "Tickle me," by DL Hammons. He's an aspiring author as well and I think that post, and he, come off as a great example of a good hearted individual in the publishing world. His attitude reflects a genuine desire to help or stay positive in this, often time arduous, journey called getting published.

    Sorry for the first post. I deleted it to fix a spelling error. I'm OCD sometimes. Cut me some slack. :)

  3. The jaded-isims come and go, but I've seen BY FAR nothing but good-heartedness throughout my tenure in the biz. And that's by agents, editors, and the powers that hold all the $$$. Sure there are stinkers out there (a la the twitter-fail rejects of last year), but that's to be expected in a dog-eat-puppy industry. I'd list all the great people here, but there's too many to count!

  4. Love your conjugations analogy--very fitting example, I think, of the way we often react to the publishing world. It's so hard to stay positive in this business. But in the end, neativity won't get you very far (most especially if you voice it publically). Great post--serves as a great reminder.

  5. Hating publishers and agents is like hating the girl you ask to the prom who says, "Sorry, I already have a date." You didn't get the girl. That stinks. But you have to get on with your life. And if you bring it up a week later, everyone's going to look at you like you're an idiot and tell you to get over it.

    Rejection happens. That doesn't make the rejector evil. Accept and move on.

  6. I'm a fan of published authors who make it a point to give back to the community while creating their brand. Elizabeth Spann Craig springs to mind. And as for agents, you already linked to Rachelle Gardner. Nate Bransford's almost too popular to bother mentioning, but he's great at giving back too.

  7. I think the writing community has way too much hate crime going on sometimes: we have writers who bash reviewers, writers who bash agents/publishers, agents who cheat writers....

    but mostly, we have agents who point us out to sites like Writer's Beware, who seek to educate us about the biz, who want us to know how to write a query, how to advertise writers might be insecure sometimes (all the time), but yeah, "rejection happens." We don't have to make it a "us vs. them" situation.

  8. I have to give a shout out to Nathan Bransford, he gives out an amazing amount of free, good advice to authors everywhere. If you look in his (epic) comments section he usually replies to direct questions too.

    It's so easy to feel hurt when someone doesn't think much of your work. All we can really do is remember that we are lucky to be able to pursue our dream of being writers and keep going. Getting in a huff, especially at an agent or publisher is always going to be counter productive.

  9. Hey! Thank you for that awesome shout-out Carrie!! That was super cool! And you have a thoughtful, helpful blog too!

  10. Hi I find it hard translating verb conjugation.Do you have any tutorials available here?Hope you can help me improve my verb conjugation.