Writing Wrongs

March 03, 2004

Every once in a while, a black hole comes along and swallows up all your submissions. This surprised my husband. A few months ago, he sent off a nonfiction book proposal to a publishing company and wondered why it took so long to get a response--any response. I told him that sometimes I never even hear back.

ďThatís just poor business etiquette,Ē he said. ďNo wonder everyone hates the publishing industry.Ē

Yeah. No wonder.

Right now, I have a handful of submissions that seemed to have slipped into a black hole. If I hear, even if itís a form rejection letter, it will throw me for a loop. A cause for celebration.

In theory, I understand the predicament of agents and editors, especially after reading nine partial manuscripts one weekend. That was not an easy task. What if that was my job, day in and day out?

Sometimes it would be easier to stuff envelopes with form rejection letters and be done with it. Or simply let those manuscripts pile up until the stack becomes a threat to life and limb.

In a time when everyone with a word processor is a novelist, itís no wonder things get lost in the shuffle. And do agents/editors need to worry about missing this generationís Great American Novel? Not really. Not when the next dayís mail will bring them dozens more.

So it goes. Some people swear on following up: the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

My experience: the squeaky wheel gets the rejection letter.

Still, I like the closure, at least, of the official rejection letter.

But whatís been nice lately is how the writing has been on the front burner. Sure, I send things out. Got a list of things to print out and send this weekend. But whatís kept me going is the writing. Iím excited that I might actually finish two books this year. And that will be an accomplishment.

What Iím reading: The second YA novel on my pile, Royally Jacked.

Writing Progress: Excellent! 3,000 words last week. Iím now working on a scene called, Return of the Tie. Iím nearing the end of the first draft and looking forward to writing two of my favorite words:

The End

Charity Tahmaseb wrote at 12:24 p.m.