We’ve all gotten them. I know more than a few writers who completely quit writing, because they received a letter in the mail, saying that you shouldn’t have been writing to begin with. And I have one thing to tell you, if you’ve ever gotten a letter like that, even from the biggest of publishing houses, and the supposedly best of editors.
How dare they?
No, I’m serious.
No editor, no matter how great they are or how amazing they are at editing or how affluent they are in the trade, can ever possibly know what every reader in the world is looking for. No editor could ever even hope to attain half that standard. Editors know what they like, and they know what their target audience likes, but they don’t give a single thought to what the other people like.
Not all of us fit into that perfect little square of their target audience.
In reality, I highly doubt that anyone could pick what sort of books I would like, when it comes right down to it. My reading choices vary greatly, ranging from Old English literature to sci-fi thriller dramas, and everything in between. I’m not an ideal target audience, because even I don’t know what I’m going to want to read next. I really don’t.
Most days, I think the majority of people are like that.
And that’s why I’m here to tell you that no matter what that editor told you, no matter what you received in the mail, to tell you that you’re a horrible writer and should never continue with the craft…
Don’t listen to them.
No one in the world can say what everyone in the world wants to read.
But you know what? Someone out there wants to read what you wrote. Yeah, maybe it’s just a small audience. Maybe self-publishing is the way to go for you, because the set group of people who will devour your book in a single gulp is smaller than what the big publishers are looking for, but you know what? Those are the best kinds of fans to have anyway. They're loyal, above all else. Most publishers can't say that for every fan of the works they put out.
So do me a favor. The next time you get a rejection letter in the mail, take what that editor said with a grain of salt.
Sometimes, they’re just being mean. I don’t agree with them lashing out at you, and I’m not afraid to say it.
And editors, we shouldn’t lash out at writers, even if we don’t always like what they’ve created. We have zero right to do that, especially if that writer was brave enough to reach out to us in the first place.
I'll leave you with this:
Just because I don’t like it, doesn’t mean someone else won’t.
And just because someone else didn't like it, doesn't mean I won't.