So ... yesterday was weird.
I really wanted to keep names and specifics out of yesterday's post, but the comment section got all kinds of crazy and it's fair for everyone to have a say. Thanks to you ALL for your comments and I'm glad you felt free to share here.
The reason I posted was partly because of the Bonehead that wrote the letter, but MOSTLY for all of you who contacted me when you saw my tweet and told me you were afraid to speak up. I counted, and before I even wrote the post I had over 20 direct messages and emails. After the post? Almost 40 more. And they're still coming.
Some of you are calling me brave for speaking up. Thank you - but you should know I was terrified - and also this:
I'm agented. I'm contracted for two books in more than one country. I'm slated for publication.
I'm not querying. I'm not on submission.
It was a whole lot easier for me to speak out than it would have been for some of you.
Some of you are apologizing. Please don't. If this incident had happened a year ago, there's no way I would have felt comfortable writing these posts or even tweeting about it in an ambiguous way.
Power and influence may or may not have been used against the Bonehead in a bullying way - it all depends on your personal perception. (See comments from yesterday's post for many examples.)
But what I couldn't stomach was the consequence of people in the ... sardine industry who didn't feel free to speak their minds because they feared retribution from others in the ... sardine industry.
Let's cut the crap.
Writers who care about how they are perceived do things like Tweet Responsibly, Read Agent Blogs For Information and Go To Conferences Without Pushing Their Manuscripts Under Toilet Stalls.
These are the writers who will most likely follow the rules each agent sets forth for submitting queries/partials/fulls. These are the writers who will wait the appropriate amount of time - maybe longer - before making status queries to agents about their work. They will not harass agents. They will not call them on the telephone. They will not send mugs of candy or other wildly outrageous gifts because they understand BOUNDARIES. They understand the rules.
But one of the rules is not - Be Too Afraid For The Future Of Your Career To Speak Up When You Perceive An Injustice.
I was surprised, honestly, floored, when so many people I respect in this business both commented on yesterday's post and emailed me privately.
There are amazing agents, editors and authors out there. As long as writers don't act like a Bonehead and post something hurtful or nasty mean when they have an opinion, professionals will respect it. (If they even see it. 'Cause, you know, they're busy and stuff.)
Again, it all comes down to thoughtfully considering things. If you're one of the unagented/unpublished writers out there who was so worried yesterday, know - please, please - know that a class act is a class act, and as long as you behave accordingly, the people you want to be associated with won't judge you for speaking your mind.
I love my job. And I love the people I work with - every opinion and every thought.
Because what you have to say matters.
Also, please check out these posts from Kirsten Hubbard, Saundra Mitchell and Hannah Mosk. I so appreciate these women and their willingness to speak up.