[Publishing] is a ‘transactional’ environment – sometimes it feels like other writers only want to know what you can do for them. In that sense it reminds me of my days in Foreign Affairs, where I was surrounded by diplomats who wanted to know what aristocratic school you went to, who you knew in the diplomatic or political elite, and whether you could help them get posted to New York.
In publishing, people want to know if you went to Clarion, if you know any famous authors who can give them a book blurb, and whether you can recommend them to a New York agent.
I’m 0/6, if you’re wondering.
Which is to say: when you find someone who gives a shit about your writing, no strings attached, treat them well. They are a rare beast indeed.
T. R. Napper gives advice.
I admit that the “hustle” is my least favorite part of publishing. Partly because I’m not good at it—being Australia, being a woman, being extremely shy—partly because I morally and economically object to it,1 but mostly because I really, really don’t like being on the receiving end of it, and like even less the idea that people might think I’m trying to do it to them. Which has the bummer side-effect of meaning I tend to avoid approaching writers whose work I do like, because of the fear of being seen as That Person.
Thing is, though? The Hustle works. That’s the depressing part. So it’d be nice to think there’s a happy medium between being That Person and being, er. Well. Me. Haven’t quite found it yet, though, so it’s a work in progress.
Which, y’know. Is maybe kinda the point…
- In the same way I object to all “gig economy” nonsense, although that’s a rant for another time. [↩]