Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Silence

Sometimes we have a good gig and it seems to be going really well for a few months, maybe even a year or two. Then comes The Silence.

They quit contacting you or when you contact the editor, there's often  no response. To many, this may present a challenge, so they try to email and contact like crazy. "You won't ignore me, Mister/Missy!" they seem to say, not quite realizing -- or maybe not caring -- how irrational they might seem. But if you aren't supposed to melt down, how do you handle this?

It could be that the editor is just busy, which can happen. Or it could be that the editor's email was changed and there's a new software system in place. Or s/he could have been kidnapped by Albanian militants that rode into the building on sparkly unicorns.

Generally, and I hate to say this to you, dear readers, you have been given your walking papers. Either  the freelance budget is cut, the publication is going under or there's some other reason beyond your control. If your work or professionalism has been shoddy, you may have a little soul-searching to do. If not, and this is usually the case, the editor just doesn't want to deal with explaining the situation. Most human beings do not like conflict, so they avoid it -- sometimes to the detriment of others.

So The Silence means it's time to be pitch other places and work on other projects. Sure, The Silence may end, and you will continue your relationship with said publication -- but just in case it doesn't, you want to be sure you have additional income to cover the loss.

Who knows? This lull may also be a sign that you should finish writing that book or polishing those chapters.

No comments: