GUEST BLOG BY MICHAEL LAROCCA, http://www.editormichael.com/
I was editing a company’s bid on a project, and they were inconsistent in how they spelled the potential customer’s name and their own company name. I am not making this up.
I’ve said this before. If I’m reading or editing something, and I get the urge to ask the author “Do you even care?”, that’s bad. Very bad.
If you’re writing a letter or bid, I suppose you can get away with slapping any damn thing on the paper and saying, “My editor can fix it. That’s his job.” But really, why would you do that? If you don’t care about the damn thing, don’t write the damn thing.
In this case, I suppose someone (not me) could approach the owner of the company and say, “Your bid writer just doesn’t give a shit. Fire his ass.” But since this bid was written by the company owner, kicking her onto the unemployment line probably isn’t an option. I’ll just fix the damn thing.
If you’re an aspiring novelist, you don’t have this luxury. You’d damn well better care.
Seriously. Many would-be authors send me half-ass shit, and they send major publishers half-ass shit, as if they’ve done enough and are entitled to be lazy about making it readable because it’s just soooooo fucking great and they are ARTISTS.
Nope. Not on this planet, son.
Do you know what happens to people who write shit, but care enough to make it the best shit they can write? The shit gets better, one day it isn’t shit, and one day it’s published, and one day it’s even read.
Do you know what happens to gifted artists who are too lazy to improve? They get rejected, they get mocked on Slush Pile Hell and/or my blog, they pay to self-publish or fall for a Publish America scam, and they wonder why nobody reads their shit. Shit they couldn’t be bothered to read themselves after they slapped it onto the paper any old way.
I can’t believe I’m even writing this shit. How can you NOT care about your own damn writing?
People are crazy.
P.S. The customer in the first paragraph is also too damn lazy to run a spell checker. I’m gonna raise my prices on her ass.
Michael LaRocca is an American book writer and editor and blogger who currently lives in Thailand. He has written nine published books and edited more than 300.