Back after Lord-knows-how-long to share more notes from my Un-Editorial Notepad. Today’s post is called Show Some Respect (or) The Entitled Writer Syndrome.
There’s a trend I’m seeing more and more these days and it would be funny if it wasn’t so…well, un-funny. I call it the “Entitled Writer Syndrome”, where writers do some of the most amazing things when they should be paying attention to their editors. Here are only a few variations:
1. The ‘Poof…He’s Gone!’ Writer: This one subs a manuscript for editing and then disappears for five or six months. When he finally resurfaces you can’t remember what the heck his story is about so you re-read your notes and renew your suggestions…and he disappears again.
2. The ‘Forgetful Writer’: You send her detailed and complex emails instructing her on what the story’s problems are and where the story can go from here. You don’t hear from her for a few weeks–or months, but when you do, it’s to tell you she can’t find your email and has no clue what you wrote. Can you please resend? Uhm…NOT!
3. The ‘Distracted Writer‘: He pays good money for a phone call or skype session with you, but he types, surfs, or Facebook’s the entire time you’re trying to help him with HIS manuscript.
4. The “I Love You Tickle Monster” Writer: She either tickles her children the entire time you’re trying to talk to her, or is tickled by her frisky husband who could care less that her editor’s on the line.
5. The “Hey, Are You Still There?” Writer: This is a rude so-and-so who puts you and your valuable information on hold because of an urgent call, and then forgets to come back to the telephone.
These scenarios actually happened. The sexes have been scrambled to protect the innocent.
Why am I writing about them? Because it is entirely possible that none of these culprits had a clue that they were doing anything wrong. That being said, I don’t want you to make the same mistake and alienate your editor. A good editor can help you go a long way.
I hope something I’ve written will help you in your quest to become an excellent writer.
Best wishes until next time,