Monday, March 7, 2011

Why I don't post about my progress

Kristen Lippert-Martin suggested that I post why I don’t mention where I am in the whole submission/query/rejection process on my blog. This is a bit rich coming from Kristen, but it probably boils down to the same thing for both of us: I don’t think it’s professional. Edit: KLM has alerted me to my grievous mistake--it is actually Roni Loren who suggested this topic. Sorry! Sorry! Preggers brain!

This blog is many things--an outlet for my overflowing finger-mouthiness, a place for me to explore aspects of writing and get feedback and start a discussion, and a kind of public announcement page. But I’d be a fool if I thought agents and even future employers didn't ever look at it. Am I ever tempted to let my inner snark out here? Oh God, yes. My inner snark is so nasty that I have to keep her in a cage locked up in heavy gauge chain with a current on down in the basement. Fine, some of her leaks out now and then, but trust me, you only see a fingernail.

This post from Janet Reid kind of confirms all that. If you ever had any doubt as to whether agents look at this stuff and cringe, there you have it.

The way I see it, everyone submits and everyone is rejected. Sometimes the rejections sting despite my intention to spend no more time on them than it takes to file them away. But they're a universal experience for anyone who wants to get published. It’s so tempting to fire off a blog post venting about this, but the fact is, everyone’s story is different for different reasons. And all you know of me is what I tell you on this blog. As with any job, it is of the utmost importance to me to come across always as professional and appropriate.

Do I ever vent? Ha ha! I vent selectively to certain trusted people in private (you know who you are, and thank you)--those of you who’ve been by me and helped me out in the query process. They talk me down off the ledge if I need. And if they need it in return, I do it for them.

So that’s why I don’t mention where I am. There’s really only three things you need to know:
  1. I am not yet represented by an agent.
  2. I don’t yet have a book published or scheduled for publication. (When these two items change, you’ll know it because I’ll be posting the haloed and jubilant “I GOT THE CALL” post right here, and change allllll my bio info to include “I am represented by XX at XX Agency.” Trust me, I'll be obnoxious. )
  3. I am always working on a novel.
But--I do look forward to sharing what I've learned some day--and I'm learning a lot. If you have any questions please ask in the comments.

I do want to say one last thing--for those who you who do grouse about their progress, in no way is this a criticism of you or your blog. I just don't prefer it for myself. This post was not written with anyone else in mind, and in fact I think grousing posts have a place, because it does show the rest of us the universal experience.

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