Friday, May 7, 2010

Is It OK To Tell Your Editor (or Agent) No?

So, you are up to your eyeballs in revisions, you have a new story idea that you want to get working on, or maybe even a work in progress. On top of all that, if you are like many other writers, this is not your single job and you have a boss coming down hard on you. And now you are faced with a tough decision.

Your editor or agent calls with a new project for you. Maybe they want you to do a guest blog or maybe they have a new story idea they want you to do. Now what?

Honestly, this is something every writer dreams of. Having a ton of work and people begging you to write more. But here's the catch - there is only 24 hours in a day. Can you say no?

This is a tough one but surprisingly the answer is very simple. You can say no.

Now before you go jumping all over this, let me explain something. The real world does get in the way sometimes and there is only so much you can do. If there is a way to juggle some things around in your life, maybe change a deadline for another project, then you should take it. But, if you are locked into something, then saying no is actually the right thing to do.

O.K. Scott, but there are consequences to that. Maybe they will think I'm not dedicated enough. They'll give it to someone else. Well, part of that is true. Yes, they will likely give it to someone else if there is an immediate need to get that project going. If they can hold off on it, then maybe you're still in the running. As far as being dedicated, they will not think this. In fact, they are seeing a professional side of you that I am sure they wished more authors would have.

Here is what you have to consider. If you take on this project, is your other writing going to suffer? You have worked long and hard on making a name for yourself so now you have to ask if it is worth it to sacrifice this writing for this new project.

Again, I want to go back to that comment about there being only 24 hours in a day. You might not be able to take on anything else.

So before you say yes, and then die a painful death. Stop and assess the situation first. Discuss it with the agent and editor. See what you can work out. If you have been a dedicated writer for these people, they will likely find a way to work with you.


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