The cult section of the literary world

The Tea House: Lessons from the Other Side of the Desk I

by Spike Marlowe
I was a writer for a long time before I was an editor. I’ve been an editor for about eight months, and in that short time, I’ve learned a lot that’s benefited me as a writer.

The truth is, before I was an editor, I’d heard a lot of the stuff that’s hit home during my time as an editor. Back when I was purely a writer, there was a point–after hearing this information from professional writers and editors whom I admired–that I believed what I was told, but it wasn’t until I was an editor that the information I’m about to share with you really sunk in.

The information is this: If you receive a personalized rejection from an editor, this is a compliment. Take it as such and send your manuscript elsewhere, and keep writing. If an editor rejects your manuscript, but encourages you to send more work in the future, this is a huge compliment.

Editors don’t have a lot of time. If they’re willing to put the extra time in to say something personal in your rejection, or if they ask to see another manuscript, they mean it. They’re not just being nice (as I once thought when I got personalized rejections or invitations to send future work). They don’t say this to every author who submits a manuscript.

If you receive such a rejection, give yourself a big pat on the back, and then get back to work and write something the rejecting editor can’t refuse. If you receive a standard rejection, give yourself a big pat on the back for putting yourself out there and taking a risk by submitting a manuscript. And then write a story the rejecting editor can’t refuse.

No matter what kind of rejection you receive, be persistent, patient and professional, and you’ll break through.
Spike Marlowe has held a number of odd jobs, including working in a wild west show, as a detective, as a Bigfoot researcher, as a writer for an Internet content farm and as a busker. These days she’s a writer, blogger and bizarro editor for Eraserhead Press, with a focus on the New Bizarro Author Series. Her first book, Placenta of Love, is now available at all the usual locations. You can stalk her online at her website, Facebook or on Twitter at @spikemarlowe.

2 responses

  1. Thanks for your insights, Spike.

    February 18, 2014 at 2:06 am

  2. I will immediately take hold of your rss feed as I can not to find your e-mail subscription
    hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please allow
    me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

    April 6, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s