Agentfail goes on and on and on. Ginger Clark** responds.
And I actually had something sort of potentially useful to add instead of just my feelings. Although while I'm adding my feeeeeelings, wtf is it with writers who think that just because they're pouring their heart and soul into their career--putting their writing above family and life--we should respect them more? Pity them perhaps, when their efforts don't work, but are we supposed to respect workaholics?
I just want to kick them in the ass and tell them to get off the computer occasionally so they don't lose their friends and family or turn into a big whale. I've been guilty of monomaniacal behavior leading to whaledom so I'm hypocritical. But never in my career or lack of it, did I think other people should regard me with more than the usual amount of respect afforded anyone else. And why should your passion be Ginger Clark's problem?
Since I've been in those shoes, I can guess why they want this wackadoodle choice to be acknowledged. I expect it's because they are defensive in general about their writing. They need outside confirmation of their choices. Hard (can we say nearly impossible?) to get when you're unpublished. You have to get that from yourself, dude. And might I suggest going out for a run/walk now and then? Get some perspective back?
Anyway. Back to the agentfail thing at that blog. What I wrote, sort of:
Clark's answer made sense. And I had no idea people would be idiot enough to diss a rejecting agent. Talk about a self-destructive move.
But the whole NO ANSWER issue isn't just a bad idea because it's rude (and it is rude. Really truly. Feels incredibly callous and I know from rude because I am a much-rejected rioter and a published author who's gotten reviews) -- it's also inefficient. At least once my manuscript didn't go through to an agent. I only found out because I emailed the agent who took the time to write back to say she hadn't received it. After that, I would write follow up notes. When those got ignored, my shorts were well and truly frosted----I know, I know my problem, not theirs. But still. Here's a previous rant about the silence factor.
Anyway. If I was an agent, I'd write rejections rather than just stay silent. Just seems more businesslike. You can avoid all the "didja get that ms? huh? didja? huh?" But I'd set up an email account that could only send out mail, not receive it. And I'd add a groveling apologetic paragraph to my form rejection, all about "agency policy" not being able to have follow-up conversations about rejections.
Back when I worked at Frederick Magazine, I had to reject ideas and articles all the time, and I always made it someone else's problem. Company policy works well for an agent. A big bureaucrat is making it so I can't talk to you. It has nothing to do with the fact that you're a doot-brain and I'm too busy.
**UPDATED TO ADD: I forgot to mention that back during my big replace-the-agent search (see long grouchy despairing notes from a bit more than a year ago. Also a funny incident) I got rejected by Clark. A really nice rejection that made me wish she'd said yes because I'd have liked to work with someone like her. I like the agent I got though, so that's okay.