I’m late for posting my Magical Words contribution again, but I have a very excellent excuse! I was busy posting my Happy Book Birthday Blog over on my own page with shout-outs to our own Faith Hunter, as well as Rachel Caine, Tammy Kaehler, Karen Whiddon and my pal Cecily White. You go, gals!
I’m feeling remarkably mellow today, so no rants for me this time. Instead, I want to talk about the power of positive thinking, maybe because we’ve just been through Easter and Passover, times of renewal and reflection. If I believe very strongly in anything, it’s the idea that you reap what you sow, whether you call it karma or poetic justice or Aloysius. From a professional perspective, this can mean many different things, but first and foremost, simply being polite and positive goes a long, long way. Case in point – my friend Cecily, mentioned above, who approached me at a writers’ conference and was, quite simply, a delight to chat with. We’ve been acquaintances and then friends ever since. (Full disclosure, she did buy me a drink. A glass of very wonderful shiraz, if I remember correctly, but I’m sure that had nothing at all to do with my warm and fuzzy feelings.) I’ve made many, many friends at conferences and on Facebook and Twitter because people have made an effort to interact and to support me and my authors. I notice and appreciate retweets and comments. I love witty repartee. It’s one of the things that makes life living. I’d venture to say that this appreciation for attention, wit and wisdom goes for everyone in publishing, be they readers, writers, agents, editors or any combination thereof. Thus, if you put out good vibes, there’s a good chance that you’ll come to build relationships with people who may inspire, advise and even pimp your books at some point down the line.
Professional, witty and wonderful works in so many other things as well—query letter, pitch sessions, probably dating, though I’ve been married for so long I’ve forgotten what that’s like. It’s really true that what you put out into the world comes back to you in many ways. This doesn’t mean that life will always be fair or that the cream will always rise to the top or…let’s see, how many clichés can I fit into one article?… but it certainly improves your chances. I’ll guarantee another thing—negativity reflects more strongly on the person spewing it than it does on the person at whom it’s aimed. Arguing with reviewers, agents or editors, bad-mouthing other authors, spouting vitriol, bias or sweeping generalizations are going to assure people that they’d rather stay out of your way than chance falling on your bad side and becoming the target of your venom. Or being found guilty by association if you do something in terribly bad form while they’re standing by your side.
Well now, I think I’ve shown sufficient mastery of the obvious today: good vibes = positive relationships, bad vibes = a feedback loop of negativity.
My work here is done.