Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blog Flog!

Stay professional people. Sending queries that sound like you are writing to your best friend is not business like. While you might feel that you know me from the things you have read here on the blog, this does not mean that your letters pitching your story to me should be casual.
Hey Scott,
I bet you thought I dropped off the face of the Earth. I know it has been a while but I have a really cool story I want to throw your direction.
Sorry to say it but you have now earned yourself a rejection. You might have the best dang story out there but your lack of professionalism just cost you that extra read.
Now, I know that there are other agents out there that will claim that the query isn't going to make that big of an impact on them. They will likely use that same line we always hear, "It's all about the story." But honestly, I am betting they will find something wrong with that project.
This is a business. While writing for many is a hobby, if you want to earn money you have to treat it just like any job. If you were applying for a job with a major corporation, would you be that casual or would you be professional and show the employer you are a person to be taken seriously?


  1. Could it be a generational lack of awareness of formal manners? And if so, how did we get here???

    (Personally I think the seeds were sown in the 1960's by the baby boomers. They burned the bras, all right...and a WHOLE LOT more.)

  2. Casting aspersions on a whole generation is also rude. Knowledge is strength and learned at it’s parents knee, however children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners whatever the generation. Manners are merely the reflection of a souls insecurity in his place in the world.
    "Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use." ~Emily Post
    A baby boomer with very polite children

  3. Well Kate, I'm glad you think your children are polite. I like to think mine are, too.

    But society at large? And the writers of impolite query letters?

    Not so much. And when I look closely I can pinpoint the time everything started going downhill.

    Should have kept the bras in place is my mantra!!

    (This is just my opinion.)

  4. "Knowledge is strength and learned at it’s parents knee"

    It's is a contraction for it is. The proper spelling for the usage in this sentence about knowledge (!) is its.


  5. It's not the punctuation that counts here, it's the thought. But thank you for pointing out the mistake.I'm married to a tech editor and he would have done the same had he seen this post:)

    Now for more debate:
    History has had it’s share of ‘moral panics' about it younger generation attributing them to the down fall of socially acceptable behavior:

    "I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for they are reckless beyond words. When I was young, we were taught to be discreet, respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly disrespectful and impatient."

    Who do you think articulated the above critique on the young? Sound like your parents? Perhaps a teacher? Maybe a politician? Was it your former TI or your Air Officer Commanding from the Air Force Academy? How about when it was said? Pretty recent, wouldn't you think? Well, it's from about 700 BC, and it was said by the Greek poet, Hesiod. Apparently 300 years later, little had improved:

    "The youth of today love luxury; they have bad manners and contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Youth are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up food at the table, and tyrannize their teachers."

    These words are attributed to Socrates in Plato's "The Republic". The more things change, the more they stay the same?

    In 1328 Chaucer was accused of being from “that rude generation”, in the 1700s youth were chastised because they rudely did not curtsy or bow to their elders anymore. In the twenties we had Jazz and flappers and OMG – young women smoked! That tool of the devil, the telephone became very popular with youth. All that communication couldn’t be good! The 1940s had zoot-suiters and swing kids. The Great Depression spawned gangs, the early 50s had the formation of the Hells Angels and the existential Bohemians and Greasers and the evil Rock and Rollers, the sixties had Surfers and the Hippies (yes, the bra burners) and the war protesters, the seventies had punks and geeks, the eighties had Goths and Rappers. Oh, and let’s not forget the Generation Xers of the 90s.(“Those youths who "sleep together before they are married, were not taught to believe in God as 'much', dislike the Queen, and don't respect parents."). then we had ‘Generation Y’, ‘Generation Me’…

    “The commonest reason for complaints about manners is, simply, that the complainer is aging.” - Mark Caldwell author of ‘A SHORT HISTORY OF RUDENESS
    Manners, Morals, and Misbehavior in Modern America.’

    My only hope is never to be labeled or get so old I lose perspective,
    Just my opinion, thank you for the great debate Miss Sharp,