Friday, May 26, 2006

Feelin' Kinda Blue...

Ho-hum, another day, another jerk.

What is it with some wanna-be writers? Despite my best efforts to be cordial and helpful, some folks won't take "maybe" for an answer.

The latest is some yabbadoo who claims he's a real-life private eye, and wanted to know if he should submit his story as fiction or non-fiction. The way he worded his query, I wasn't sure exactly where he was considering submitting his story, so I offered some general advice and suggested that unless it was a particularly amazing true story, that it might be an easier sell as fiction, since that would also allow him to tweak events to make it the best story possible.

Well, this guy got all upset, claiming I was trashing his story before reading it and that he hadn't asked for my advice and that our guidelines were misleading (A-HA! He was thinking of submitting to us!) and I was full of myself and what had I ever done in my life and blah blah blah blah... Eventually I got tired of this and suggested he stop pestering me.

So far he's written me twice more, each message a little more insulting... Sigh.

It's not like he's the first writer like that I've ever had to deal with since starting the site, but the thought that he won't be the last really is really bumming me out today.

Then there's yet another writer who's snail mailed me, asking me to print out and send them guidelines. This sort of thing is particularly annoying, since this is a web site. We do all our editing and publishing through the internet. Everything we do is through the internet, and everything we have to say is right there for all to see.

So when I get queries, requests, short story submissions and even unsolicited novel-length manuscripts via snail mail, it just confuses me and becomes a bigger hassle than I'm willing to deal with these days.

Sorta like the site itself.

Somedays I just feel like pulling the plug. I dunno. Maybe I'm burning out.

Or maybe I just need a vacation, a few beers with friends. Or maybe just a quick shot to the head.

Anyone here planning on heading to BLOODY WORDS?


Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

"It's not like he's the first writer like that I've ever had to deal with since starting the site, but the thought that he won't be the last really is really bumming me out today."

All I can say is, try to think of that one writer you published who was surprisingly good, someone you hadn't heard of who showed real talent and sent a story you got excited about.

Not implying there's only been one, but just, sometimes, there's one that comes to mind and thinking about the thrill of publishing them can overshadow the pain of dealing with a large number of jerks.

(Of course, with me, the odd time I've taken an email as being rude and responded accordingly, only to be proven wrong later and found out I'd projected the attitude on them. But that doesn't sound like the case here.)

Snail mail sucks.

Have fun at Bloody Words.

11:24 AM, May 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy didn't know if his own story was fiction or non-fiction?

That's sad, man. You should have just told him to take a hike, or not even bother answering the A-hole at all, instead of getting all bent out of shape about it.

12:59 PM, May 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

asking me to print out and send them guidelines

People, in general, are very strange. They obviously had to have seen your website and they couldn't print them out for themselves? *boggle* Weird.

3:14 PM, May 26, 2006  
Blogger Daniel Hatadi said...

BLOODY WORDS. Sounds like an Aussie crime convention. Not that there ARE any down here (grumble, grumble).

Hey, don't give up! Some of us out here still want to get published and read more work from others on TD. And we're nice, too.

The PI must not be allowed to die, and you guys are keeping him/her alive.

5:44 PM, May 26, 2006  
Blogger Planet Heidi said...

I've been to quite a few events where I've seen publishers and agents literally get mobbed. Cocking an ear into the pitches, I've heard a lot of inane stories and half-baked pitches. The hardest to bear are the biographies. How do you tell someone that their life sounded boring? But sometimes they're written that way. Best you can do is tell 'em your honest opinion and move on. Sounds like you've done that. It's a highly competitive field and people gotta learn that. Kudos to you for sticking to your guns and being a professional.

10:17 AM, May 27, 2006  

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