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Called Out

August 11, 2010

It’s nice to get an update on a story that is heading to an editor’s desk.  I got one today that wasn’t quite from a slush reader.  It was the most personalized status update I have ever received, stating that this individual had visited this humble blog and poked around.  Awesome!  However, the publication in question was not on my list of markets at the right of your screen.  Etiquette fail.  (This has since been remedied.)  Thanks to this individual for pointing this out.

As a rule, the list only contained markets I had submitted to multiple times or had sold to.  That way if someone asked about a specific market on the list, I could offer some intelligent commentary from a writer’s perspective.  It hadn’t occurred to me that editors and their ilk might be exploring my blog and find themselves missing.  I get caught in that trap a lot; I am not a social creature and seldom consider the repercussions of things, particularly omissions.  I fail to introduce my wife to acquaintances in the grocery store.  I don’t send thank you notes.  I forget to call people on their birthdays.

Little things make a difference.  It’s time for me to grow up and realize that.  I am a professional writer now, anticipating professional treatment from editors.  I owe them the same.  I should be adding markets to my list before I submit to them.  I should be familiar enough with them to answer a fellow writer’s questions before I ever send them a manuscript.  I should also be removing markets that I would not submit to again and would not recommend, whether they sent me a check once or not.

I felt special when I learned this individual had visited my blog.  I could have made him feel special by showing his market on my list.  I dropped the ball, missed an opportunity to impress.  Bad writer.

None of this will affect the judgment of my story, I’m sure.  The message even bore the winking emoticon to assure me it wasn’t an angry email.  In the end, my story will sell itself or it won’t.  Still, this changes my perspective a little.

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