Bridges, burnt or otherwise

2 Oct

Usually I’d save this to link to in the Weekly Round-Up, but this seems to be an ever present issue.


Jessica Faust blogged about what happened when someone sent her a nasty-gram. She went from helpfully forwarding them to a good match agent, to letting that agent see the mean note and taking away a valuable contact.


Call it professionalism, manners or self-preservation, but why  -WHY-  do people think it is acceptable to be rude to others. Especially to strangers?


In an age where you can scripturally annihilate someone in a matter of seconds via email, text, blog and any other assortment of electronic communications, where is the catch all? The slow-dip quill that forces you to think out every word, every detail before committing it to parchment? The thing that slows us down from sending thoughts best left to ourselves?


People keep saying, “Don’t burn your bridges.” I think it should go even further than that. In a world where things sometimes are so hard, why make someone’s life harder. Did that nasty letter make you feel THAT much better?


I’ve been on the other end of the nasty-gram. I received snide email from an agent 47 SECONDS after I sent it. (Yes, that says seconds) – he’d obviously read only one line of the query, chapter and synopsis and not even the full sentence at that so he misunderstood the comparison (he asked for in an interview) with my book. I know that I won’t work with him if my position changes. Oddly enough, after receiving the email (which I did NOT shoot a nasty-gram back at) I had several people explain to me why most new writers wouldn’t want to work with him anyway. They came out of the woodwork — And so, just like writers network, agents do as well. I’ve been surprised to be remembered or my name was known from one agent to another. It’s a small world. Don’t burn your bridges.


But more than that, why don’t you build one. It’s good for you, it’s good for others and it’s good for your career.


Oh, and don’t bother asking that agent’s name – No. It won’t be showing up in a blog or comment 🙂

3 Responses to “Bridges, burnt or otherwise”

  1. Unhinged (Andi) October 2, 2008 at 9:01 pm #

    I’m with you–I can’t fathom how or why someone (especially a writer) would write hotheaded nastygrams, letters, emails, blog entries, whatever. I can understand the DESIRE, but to actually sit in front of a computer and take the time to fire something off that 9 times out of 10 will come back to haunt you later? Besides, the chances of actually changing the mind of the person you’re being nasty to would be like winning the California Lottery.

    You’d have more chance of dying first.

  2. Unhinged (Andi) October 2, 2008 at 9:03 pm #

    (hah! in the middle of the entry, I got distracted by the Biden/Palen debate)

  3. briaq October 3, 2008 at 9:46 am #

    LOL – I watched part of it, but it seemed to be circling, so I gave it up for a good book!

    I’ll admit, I even have a blog in my draft section titled “Don’t Blog Angry” from a situation that really ticked me off. I NEEDED to write it, but I didn’t need to post it.

    Vent privately, be graceful publicly….or at least try 🙂

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