Let It Go

I’ve been crap about posting here.  Sorry about that.

But I still amuse myself by reading various writing forums.  And, as usual, there’s a thread on one of the forums where a writer is upset because they weren’t treated in the way they “should have been.”

Problem is…as a newbie writer trying to break into this business no one owes them a damned thing.

You write an agent and they never respond?

Let it go.  Move on.

You submit a short story and they take 300 days to respond or, worse, don’t respond and just update their system?

Let it go.

You submit a novel to an open call and they blow past their deadline on getting back to you?

Let it go.

Because that is the only way you will survive breaking into this business without having a nervous breakdown, a stroke, or burning bridges you don’t want to burn.

Yeah, sure.  We can talk about “professional behavior” and what people “should” do.  And you can definitely make choices about who to sub to (or not) based upon their past actions.  You can also withdraw a submission at any point if you realize you’ve made a mistake.

No one is standing behind you with a gun saying, “you must only sub to unresponsive, late responding markets and you must keep your submission there until you’re ninety.”

You don’t like it.  Don’t sub there.  Withdraw your sub.

Let it go, move on, and find someone who approaches business matters in the manner you want and expect.

What you can’t do is take it personally.  You can’t start throwing around the f word and sending off nastygrams.  Well, you can.  Just like they can blow off your submission, you can respond in any way you want.

But you shouldn’t.

Here’s why:

If they accept you, they have to work with you.  And, sorry, I don’t give a shit how brilliant someone is, I personally will not work with someone I find to be distasteful and nasty.  There just aren’t enough hours in the day to willingly tolerate someone like that.

And there are enough good writers out there that they can just move on to the next person.  The one who’s polite.  Who treats this like a professional interaction.

As a new writer, you are replaceable.

Especially as an unknown nobody.

You haven’t earned street cred.  You haven’t given them a reason to look past that snarkiness.

So, yeah.  It sucks sometimes.

Bu just let it go.

Write more.  Write better.  Get signed by their main competitor.

(But, please, God, do not then send a nasty message that says, “Nah-nah-nah, you didn’t see my genius.”  Seriously.  Let it go.  Focus your energy on something that matters.)

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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