Here is something I rarely hear any writing books or web sites or guidelines speak about – writing burnout. Do you ever get sick and tired (to put it mildly) of reading all the picky-ass writer’s guidelines and think, oh F#@K it! I don’t even care anymore.

You go thru hours (or in my case, days) crafting the perfect query, with the perfect lede, the perfect explanatory paragraph, the perfect bio and select your best clips and send it off…finally. And you wait. And wait. And – you see an e-mail from the editor. You are never excited about it anymore…you open up a rejection. It’s not the rejections that bother me…it’s the hours of laboring over the query. I hear of writers sending out 5 or more queries a day..WTF? How can they do this when we are taught to spend so much time and effort on every query and make SURE they are never generic or mass-marketed? I spend more time on the query than I do the actual article!

The other thing I hate is how these mag editors expect us to read and study and memorize their freakin’ magazines. “Read at least the last six months” or “Study our magazine or don’t bother writing to us” or “Read the last year of our magazines, and don’t waste our time with the wrong pitch” Oh, Screw You All! Do you not think we have a LIFE? When exactly are we supposed to read magazines for every pitch we want to send out, study them, analyze them and spend time on the perfect angle – to get a form rejection that takes you all of, what, a minute? Lately, they don’t seem to even bother rejecting…they just don’t answer. Which brings me to my next peeve…

“we do not accept multiple submissions” – OK, seriously now, kiss. my. ass. So, we should
1. Study at least six back issues of your magazine (eat, drink and sleep the bitch)
2. Slave over the perfect query that will knock over the apathetic editor
3. Wait for “up to four to six months to answer”
4. Not send our query to anyone else – just wait on the “almighty magazine X editor” to respond, if they so deem necessary.
5. Start reading six months of back issues for the next magazine and hope and pray we might land the coveted “FOB” section to break in and “prove” ourselves. (ever notice how FOB conjures images of SOB ?)

I don’t know about you, but I get burned out a lot. But, I keep doing it. I am a masochist. I am sick or an addict or something…I am mental. I love the abuse. The rejection. The demeaning and condescending attitudes I get constantly. The form rejections, the rude e-mails, the job ads offering .10 a word for 3000 word “well-researched, AP guidelines, excellent prose” articles. My writing “creativity” has really been pummeled by the blatant PR bull shit. The marketing. The competition. The corporate red-tape. Oh the Humanity!

So, I suppose I will go to bed now. I am burnt out from yet another day of trying to form the perfect query letter and I have edited my query so much, once again, that it is about two sentences now. Shit…I don’t even care about this stupid article any more. I don’t even remember what it was all about now. I better go study the magazine again. Which magazine was that again? Uh…forget it.

An

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