Saturday, November 15, 2008


As we get closer to Thanksgiving, most of us put more thought and energy into recognizing what we are thankful for. Family, friends, our home, our health...these are the things that surface quickly. But what about things related to your writing? What are you thankful for in that realm?

I know this might seem crazy to some people, but what about editors and agents? There job can’t be an easy one. Wading through queries and proposals from people who never read the guidelines, editorial meetings, emails, talking with agents, working with authors/writers and then actually editing.

We spend a lot of time trying to figure out what they want. We send them queries and proposals and then a lot of times deal with the rejections that follow. But when one sees the merit in our idea, our book, our poem and they want to publish our work-it is a great feeling.

Forming a good working relationship with agents and editors is what every writer should strive for. Then when you have another idea for an article or a book, the door is already open (which we all know is the most difficult part of the business, getting that door to open). It is also imperative to continue working on that relationship. If you are working with a magazine editor, continue sending her ideas so that you she knows you are serious about your writing. If it is a book editor, be sure to be working on your next project while polishing the first one. Then when the first book is done, you have another one ready to pitch.

Regardless of what type of editor/agent you are working with, stay professional and pleasant. Keep phone calls and emails to a minimum. Be someone you would like to work with.

Back to the idea of thankfulness. One thing I try to do once a year is take some time to thank the editors I have worked with over the past year. I send them a card and usually some small/inexpensive gift. Those in the publishing world work hard, and I bet they rarely get acknowledged for it. I do this because I want them to know how much I appreciate their hard work, and in a way, thank them for believing in my writing.

I challenge you to take some time this month to acknowledge those editors and agents you have a working relationship with. If you are not there yet, take some time to thank those who are helping you try to get there (your spouse, your writing group, a writing buddy). Just take some time out to show your gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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