In response to a very funny blog “Ten Lies Agents and Editors Tell You to Protect Themselves From the Crazies” I have my own list…
10 Lies Writers Tell Their Agents and Editors To Keep Getting Work
1 – Social networking is fun… even though it sucks the life out of my day, drains most of my creative juices and seriously makes me long for the days before computers.
Honestly, it makes a lot of us crazy to have to keep up with blogging, FaceBooking, Twittering ad infinitum, except for those few who seem to be able to do it and sustain a daily wordage that astounds. We lesser mortals hate those writers!
2 – I’m happy to pay out of pocket for some additional marketing and advertising… because I know darn well that since I’m not J. K. Rowling or Stephen King I’d better ante up and hope to God something works and people notice my book!
Yeah, we’re realists, but we can’t help but think that if someone just spent a leeeetle bit of money on promotion, we’d have a better shot at getting noticed!
3 – You’re the expert, and I’ll defer to your knowledge about the business aspect… while I wail and gnash my teeth that no one can see that the next big thing won’t be the next big thing until someone takes a chance on something unusual!
We all have our little gems tucked away, waiting for the trend to move, leviathan-like, toward it! We phantasize that then, we’ll take it out, polish it, and someone – editor or agent – will leap on it with glad cries of, ‘At last… just what we’ve been looking for!’
4 – I’m so glad you’re determined to tell me what you think about my characters/plot/word usage/theme… but you don’t know what you’re talking about. They are my babies, dammit… or… wait a minute, maybe you’re right about this one thing, and maybe that, too, and shoot… you’re probably right about it all.
Sigh. Unfortunately, saying the right thing in this case usually saves us from having to eat humble pie later, when we figure out that yes, the editor/agent really was right about that passage/character/metaphor/word usage.
5 – I don’t mind waiting for the advance/royalty check… and I’ll keep telling that lie again and again, while gritting my teeth and putting off the phone company, the gas company, the hydro company and the bank.
Why – oh why – does it seem as if everyone gets paid before the writer? What? Because that’s true? Noooo! Couldn’t be that!
6 – I can write anything… and will if it will get me a contract that actually guarantees me a good advance and the opportunity to keep working on what I really love.
Sad truth… I can write anything, but not well. Takes a long time to figure that out.
7 – I have no problem getting these corrections/proofs/revisions back to you by Monday… but I may slit my throat or drink myself into oblivion in the meantime.
Why does this kind of thing always happen just before the weekend that you promised yourself you were going to kick back and relax? Or… just as you’re tight on another deadline.
8 – I’m so happy for ___, (insert name of agent/editor’s other client/writer who just scored a three book deal)… and that has nothing to do with why I hate their guts.
Jealousy, get thee behind me! The only cure for this is to not focus so much on other people’s careers and keep track of my own.
9 – I’d write even if nobody paid me… that was true once, but now I know how hard this business is and someone is going to pay me to do this, goldarnit!
A writer is worth their hire, if they have worked long and hard and honed their craft. It’s true. I know, I know, the changing market and all that. But a part of honing your craft is understanding the market and writing something that readers will appreciate, while still satisfying yourself!
10 – It’s not about the money… well of course it’s about the money! It’s always about the money.
See Number 9.
This is written with tongue firmly in cheek! I would write for free, really I would… but don’t tell my editors that!