November 1st, 2009

Submission and rejection

I still keep a big fat pink file labelled “Submission and Rejection.” It’s full of the rejection letters that made up my writing life for years and years. My first book got me nothing but rejection. My second book, after several dozen rejection letters, got me an agent. And then that second book went on to have a new crop of rejection letters, this time from editors. They were full of praise, but there was always a “But.” My third book didn’t even get good rejection letters from editors, just terse acknowledgements. And then my fourth book sold in three days.

And even since I’ve been published, not every book I’ve written has been bought. And there are other kinds of rejection even once you are published, as any author who has subscribed to Google Alerts or looked at Amazon reviews knows.

So if you feel like you're always getting rejected, maybe this will make you feel a little better. It shows a letter from the Museum of Modern Art rejecting a donation from Andy Warhol.

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Crazy people with ideas

Speaking of file folders as I was in my last post, I have another one called "Crazy People with Ideas."

I get a lot of people contacting me now. They want my help in either turning their life story into an exciting mystery series, or simply a best-selling memoir. Okay, the first one kind of makes sense and isn't all that crazy. The second one I guess stems from people thinking that writing is writing, and that they have an interesting life story. (For some reason, the life story often is about how they were screwed over and/or about their frequent lawsuits.)

And then there are people who you just can't categorize.

Like someone who sent me an email that starts like this:

"I have been left little choice but to use email spider software on multiple entertainment industry web sites, in order to get answers to my questions. During that time I pounded out another screenplay. NOW UNDERSTAND THIS! You are not the only person who gets this. And during the course of writing it, simply due to previous theft of my work, I have made it IMPOSSIBLE FOR ANY ONE TO STEAL! And that is because while I wrote it, I sent it to every studio’s legal department, every agent at William Morris, and Endeavor, every US Marshal with an email address, 3000 independent attorney’s, multiple corporations complaint departments and investor relations email addresses, every reporter at over thirty publications, including Variety, The National Enquirer, The Hollywood Reporter, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and the Wall Street Journal. And in addition to them I also sent it to a laundry list of celebrities, radio personalities, and or movie stars. Some of who you may represent."

And then goes on for pages and pages, most of I guess a script.

Oooo-kaaaaay. Last I looked I was just a writer. Not an agent, or a production exec, or a reporter, US Marshall, lawyer. Maybe I am a celebrity?

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