Good Karma: Being Kind to People on the Other End of Queries

I know I promised I’d write about building yourself a platform but… not today! I’m just not in the mood. Can I just share with you? Yes, you! Stop smiling and looking over your shoulder. I’m talking to YOU, the person who’s reading this blog post. Ok then.

Today I had lunch with an editor, someone who I initially met on Twitter. It was so nice to meet somebody who actually looks like their profile picture! (I wonder… did she think the same thing of me? Do I look like my profile picture? Which profile pic did she look at? Straight hair? Curly?) We had a lovely lunch, talking about books, about what she’s looking for, about what I’m looking for, about reading, about my Grandmother, her father, trying to eat a frisee salad politely, ordering gluten free, about books, about authors, about books, about books, about books. Totally my kind of lunch.

One of the other things we talked about is remembering that there are people on the other side of those queries. It’s an issue I’ve mentioned before as something that is very important to me. I think it’s just good karma to be attentive to that; to try to be kind even if you have to pass on someone’s manuscript. You reap what you sow, kind of thing. And also, I’ve got years of being a bitch in my personal life to make up for. Karmically, that is.

That’s all. Just wanted to share that.

How was your day? Did you write? Did you talk about books to anybody? Did you eat frisee?

17 Comments

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17 responses to “Good Karma: Being Kind to People on the Other End of Queries

  1. Ever since the beginning we as humans have judged behavior. The cave men went courting, some with wild flowers , and some with a club.Judgemental thinking does happen all too often. Just make sure your cave smells nice and the roast is on the fire cooking, After that you have two choices/ bill and coo or carry a bigger club and make sure he’s not a mommas boy. Editing a piece is very important/ and knowing when to stop is too.

  2. Kindness: the realization that we all laugh, cry, dream, love, hope. Knowing the words we write are the blood of our dreams.
    Thank you for wanting to keep that in mind.

  3. Did a first draft on a query, enjoyed the 55 degree weather after work here in ATL, until a nasty headache hit me later in the afternoon.

    Worked on latest chapter, and tweaked the master outline..I see the light at the end of the tunnel and am shooting for March as the time to begin heavy revisions.

    Headache went by bye at about 9 pm. Got take out sushi at 9:30 because I finally felt like eating.

    And yes, karma is important, thank you for writing this entry. Truly enjoying reading your blog.

  4. It just occurred to me that folks might think I’m some kind of a creep, blogging about how nice I am. Well, I am a creep. And I’m not THAT nice. I assure you. Ask my husband.

    • Sarah

      I didn’t realize it was so uncool to be nice. I’m not THAT nice, either. Ask anyone, really. I’m a total b*tch. Gheez, I can’t even say the word! Note to self: Work on being less nice.

  5. You have to pick up frisee lettuce with your hands to eat it properly; it is grown to be fork-resistant. Either wait until your dining partner’s eyes are averted or do it brazenly, but delicately, as though you know something they don’t know about frisee etiquette.

  6. Lorraine

    I re-wrote and edited three chapters, along with some carrots and cucumbers. Nice to know you’ll have a little mercy on us writers. Karma can be a real bitch sometimes.

    • No mercy. I’m a ruthless editor and extremely selective as an agent. But I try to be kind, too.

      • Sarah

        Karma in this lifetime, that’s how I look at it. We really do reap what we sow. And even if it never came back to me, I still enjoy doing random acts of kindness, like putting coins in a parking meter or critiquing another writer’s work anonymously. We all need a little kindness.

      • Right on. I sometimes wipe down the sink in public bathrooms, when it’s all wet and has paper towels littered all over the place. I do it gingerly, with another paper towel, making sure not to get cooties. But I do it. (OMG, I never told anybody that! *blushing*)

  7. Food and books. A winning combo!

  8. My day was cold, because it’s a Canadian January; I worked on a student’s short story and a client’s novel. No frisee, but a fabulous cream of broccoli and chicken soup to stave off the chill.

    I like this blog quite a bit, by the way–I think I found you through a Writer’s Digest agent highlight article, and just ended up sticking around to enjoy.

  9. GLUTEN-FREE. Wow, I have celiac disease and I admire you’re going out to eat if you do as well, I inevitably end up sick. But anyway that’s totally not related to this post.

    You’re completely right about karma of course, I know on the other end you mean the writers querying you, but it is also true when writing to an agent. I’ve heard horror stories of writers completely burning bridges by sending profanity and other insults when an agent rejects them. So awful!

    I’m actually opening up my novel to edit it. I really love it but I need to put it down for a couple weeks to get fresh eyes. Now I’m excited to get back into the story. And hey, maybe someday that person on the other end of the query will be me :)