Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dig This, Stepford Writers!


A literary agent has a blog post laying down some laws. It's here.

How absurd is that? What nerve! I don't get it. I blogged my rejections. Why would a writer be "shooting herself in the foot" if on her own blog she writes about her query process or discusses rejections? Big deal. So what if she tweets about her blog entries? So what if she tries to interact with agents on twitter? Are agents on some pedestal? And, there is a block feature on twitter. If her tweets are annoying, they can be ignored. If her query is terrific and her book sounds fantastic, shouldn't that be the barometer by which she should be evaluated for representation by an agent? Since when are writers signed based on their personalities? It sounds like a personal problem to me to reject writers who may be perceived as difficult. What writer wants an agent who is so easily threatened? And as usual the tuchas lekkers lined up to fawn all over the post. Not moi. I come from a set of parents whose response to most orders was: "Kiss my fat ass in Macy's window." No class? I can own it.

I don't get it. If a writer has the unmitigated gall, the dumb sense to break protocol and gasp, COMPLAIN, the literary work will be rejected? For that faux pas she will receive consequences regardless of how excellent her book might be? What agents are so weak minded that they cannot handle a little blog post "complaining" about the query process and why is it viewed as wrong and as a threat? That sounds absurd to me. Why should a writer's internet behavior impact or influence her success as a writer? This control keeps a writer on a very short leash. What's next? Telling writers how to dress in public or what books should not be reviewed on a personal blog or how to vote? I believe a writer should have her request for representation evaluated by the merit of the work and the feelings she expresses in her blog are freedom of speech and should not be relevant to a decision. What that writer puts in her blog is none of any agent's business. Period. It has nothing to do with the writer's book. What's the connection? Zero. Only the quality of the book should be scrutinized and nothing else. If agents draw a personality profile based on blog activity when they have not even met the author, they need to do some self-examination and analyze and determine why they are so involved in what is not important or even related to the publication of a book. What's next? Writers taking Rorschach tests before they are represented?

Preposterous. Manipulative. Controlling. It's all about Power. For real. Next thing you know, writers will be told they are "shooting themselves in the foot" if they send in their queries before noon, after all agents need time to enjoy their morning coffee and donut.

Just evaluate the project and forget all this other crap. It really sounds like a bunch of nonsense and horse sh*t. And if conclusions about personalities are part of the equation in terms of whether a writer will receive representation, how many huge nuts would never have been published? Think of all the great writers who may have been huge complainers or who did not follow the rules. Do you think they danced like marionettes to please agents so they would be signed? All they were interested in was their work, and they wanted agents to be interested in them based on the quality of their work. I am sure they didn't participate in silly head games. They complained, did what they pleased, and they had no fear of getting blacklisted. They were not milquetoasts. I admire "complainers." They help create change.

All these twitter and blog rules during the query process are micro management. I will tweet what I want and when I want. Nobody controls me. I will post blog entries that are all batsh*t. And if the result is that no agent signs me, who cares. I have excellent self-esteem and I don't wait for anybody else to green light my projects. Did Baby get put in a corner? Well, nobody puts Marjorie in a straight jacket! LOL My hands are not tied! Long live mitten free hands! And I will @ and # till I am blue in the face. Many people would do well to take a page from my book. I have gumption.

Everybody should have the right to "complain" without repercussions. There should be no whistle blower fear. What people say or write or feel or express or worry about should not impact their progress or success in their creative endeavor. They should be celebrated for the mavericks and ground breakers that they are. The lemmings of the world never impact history.

Writers should be given a chance for fair representation regardless of how they express their opinions on their personal blogs. It is sad to me that these writers wouldn't receive a fair chance for representation because they shot themselves in the foot regarding matters not even relevant to the worth of their literary work.

Don't let anybody control you. Before you know it, you will be following rules like you joined some cult and the list of rules will get longer and guess what? You still may not get an agent. So, tweet what you want to tweet, blog about "the process," and if anybody tries to tell you what you can or cannot blog about tell them kush min tuchas ofen aran.

Do you really want an agent who insists you drink her special blend of Kool-Aid? Wouldn't you rather be drinking a V8? OOPs! I am bandaging my foot! Ouch!

Reference how Charlie Sheen's producer reacted to his antics: "I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't do drugs. I don't have crazy, reckless sex with strangers. If Charlie Sheen outlives me, I'm gonna be really p**sed." Bravo, Chuck Lorre.

The "marjorie-cartoons" will soon be presented at a Chelsea art gallery. There will be a fine dinner and an elegant reception. I will be the hostess with the mostess on that night: in Givenchy!

Dedicated to: Jackson Pollack, J.D. Salinger, and Jack Kerouac.

Added on 2/21/11 in response to a comment at a blog:

re: "because currently it is what they are seeing on many, many blogs when they research writers sending them queries."

Excuse me? They research writers who send them queries? I thought the barometer for representation was the query or the content of the book.

Now, they are digging for other details to make the decision? This is absurd. I wouldn't be surprised if they go to the FBI's Electronic Reading Room to get all the scoop they can on writers who query.

They should just do their job and look for great writers to rep and stop all the other nonsense.

1 comment:

Daryl Sedore said...

Great commentary!

I really enjoyed this post and believe in it one hundred percent. I must; I'm the one who emailed the CEO of Fineprint Lit and asked to interview him. He responded to my questions with vitriol and refused to answer them. He also cc'ed the agent you're referencing here along with other agents at Fineprint.

I loved the morning coffee and donut comment and the quote about Charlie Sheen. I had to reread it out loud, due to fits of laughter.

Thanks for the smiles.