Lest any of you think I can talk smack without ever looking into a mirror and owning up to my own mistakes, it’s time for a revelation.
I fucked up.
I’ve been thinking about this post for a long time and have put off writing it again and again. Not because I can’t bare to admit I crossed the line drawn in the sand, but because, well…I can’t bare to admit I crossed the line drawn in the sand.
The story goes like this:
I was high on finishing my book proposal and scrambling to get a few blurbs from writer friends. Since I’m pretty close to sending out some queries and starting that whole process, I also figured starting the search for that elusive foreward written by Someone Famous would be a good idea and might pad my proposal in my favor.
So I sent a few emails. Made a few calls.
No harm, no foul.
Everyone I contacted initially was a friend. Someone who I had already developed a solid relationship with going as far back as my first tweet on the Aspiringmama account.
I got feedback. I also got a few pretty awesome blurbs.
Then I got cocky.
I had recently connected with a Famous Writer on Twitter and was thrilled to see conversations developing. I’d been on this Famous Writer’s site and was familiar with the Don’t Send Me Your Unsolicited Work to Read clause. It made total sense since Famous Writer has deadlines and their own work to worry about.
Looking back, I wonder how I let myself believe I was going to be an exception. I was not friends with Famous Writer. I wasn’t even an acquaintance. I was just a new comment in the Twitter stream; a new fan happy to see another example of Dreams Having Come True.
But there I sat with my finger on the mouse. I had written an email thanking Famous Writer for their communication on Twitter and asked if Famous Writer would be willing to read a few sample chapters for a possible blurb and perhaps that foreward I was hoping to snag. My breathe caught in my throat. My finger was shaking.
But I hit send anyway.
TBFF Juliette thought I was crazy but was kind enough not to say so out loud. I laughed off her doubt by convincing myself that Famous Writer and I were destined for a real connection and that the worst that could happen was a simple “no.”
I was wrong.
I received a form email a few days later from Famous Writer’s assistant spelling out their policy as stated on the web site and nothing more.
I wrote back, thanking the assistant for their time and waited for what I was sure wasn’t going to come.
And I was right.
Since that original email was sent, the twitter conversation has all but stopped. I’m not blaming Famous Writer. The way they probably see it, little to no responses to me are probably best; kind of like how you try to cut off communication with the sweet but weird guy who won’t stop calling because he doesn’t understand that you really just want to be friends.
I’m embarrassed, not to admit the aftermath. But that it happened to begin with.
I pride myself on what I know about what writers need to do to get published. I’ve done my homework when it comes to every single aspect of what order to perform each and every step and am very proud of the honesty on which my relationships on twitter are based. I know knew that there are professional lines not to be crossed when socializing on outlets like Twitter. I know that what I did was stupid. And hate that there isn’t a Take Back button I can hit.
I’m writing this for the newer writers reading my blog. The seasoned ones are most likely smacking their foreheads wondering what kind of Stupid possessed me when I Hit Send on that email. But for those just getting started?
Go slow. Nurture the connections that you’d like to see develop into true relationships. Don’t overstep the boundaries.
We all have something to learn on our journeys.
This just happened to be one of my lessons.