Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday- Biggest Blunder(s)

This Week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic:
What's the biggest writing / querying / publishing mistake you've made?

I find myself rewriting a little Sinatra this morning..."Mistakes. I've made a few..." Like, a few million. I did do them "My Way", but when it comes to mistakes that isn't necessarily something to be proud of.

In writing, I drove away a supportive critique partner because I disagreed with her idea of where I should go (plot wise) with my book. I realize now that I could have said "Thanks for the ideas, but I'm going to keep trying to make it work this way," but she's a published writer, so I thought I had to convince her my vision was right before I could move forward with her help.

In querying, I re-queried someone about a book that she'd requested a whole of six months earlier, but I never heard back from her. She hadn't remembered to reject my manuscript, but she remembered the query, and I got a curt email saying so. I emailed back, apologizing and explaining about the full request. Now, of course, I realize I should have emailed about the full request instead of re-querying...or just let the whole thing go...sometimes no response is their rejection.

In publishing...Oh wait, I haven't had the chance to make any mistakes there yet. But I'm sure if/when I get to that point there will be plenty...hopefully just ones to learn from instead of regret.

What about you? Any blunders to share?


  1. Ouch on both fronts there. I'm hoping I won't make query mistakes this time.

  2. In the words of Skipper the Penguin, "Just smile and wave, boys."

    Advice I live by in teaching, and with CPs. I usually agree with a lot of what they tell me, especially if it's repeated from several CPs, but when I disagree, I've learned to bite my tongue.

    The second one - definitely ouch. I've had to send one nudge letter and the agent was so apologetic. Sorry about yours.

  3. You know, working with other writers to find critique partners that work (and learning how to handle critique) is definitely one of the hardest things to do, and I think most people make mistakes here. When I first started beta reading I was absolutely terrified.

    And query mistakes, GAH. It absolutely doesn't matter how much prep you do, odds are you're going to make a well-intentioned mistake like your example here. *Hugs* It hurts to learn that way!

  4. ...hopefully just ones to learn from instead of regret...

    What we all hope for, but realistically, I think there's a few things all of us are going to have to shrug off if we're out there sharing our writing, whether it be betaing or querying. :)

  5. Yes, I've made a few CP mistakes. And was an idiotic querier.

    "hopefully just ones to learn from instead of regret" I hope for that, too!

  6. Well, I guess you can say that you probably learned you don't want that agent anymore. So that's something.

  7. I don't blame you for being confused about the second situation--I hate the "no response means no" policy! And I don't know that I've run across it for requested material.

  8. What Tracey said. That is the upside of querying more than once-- you know who to cut after the first attempt.