Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Writers--Mind Your Manners!

Last night, we were at a dinner gathering of sixteen people. One of the men asked me if I've had a book published yet. I told him I had not but that I'd had several essays and articles published recently. He's asked me that same question every time I see him.. I wanted to tell him that no, I had not, and quit asking! I'll tell you when it happens. But I remembered my manners and bit my tongue on that last part.

When an editor sends a rejection with a note that specifies the reason, instead of dashing off a nasty note in return, remember your manners and be thankful that the editor took time to point out the failing of the piece. I had one like that a few years ago, and it still bugs me, but I kept my mouth shut. Maybe I will want to submit to that editor again someday.

If you submit something to a critique group and someone gives a scathing critique, the first thing you  would like to do is tell the critter she doesn't know what she's talking about. Or you may want to go into a lengthy explanation about why something was written a certain way. If you have to explain it to a critiquer, then you'd need to do the same for a reader and there's no way to do that. So swallow your retort and set the story aside for a few days, then work on it again. Remember those manners your mother taught you long ago.

Writers need to mind their manners like other business people do. If you blast back at questions or comments by others in reference to your writing, it could haunt you  later. Do the old 'count to ten' and simmer down. Be polite and learn from the comments of others.

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