Friday, 7 September 2007

I hate JUNK!

No, not the messy, rubbishy, car-boot kind – but the sort that pours through your letterbox, clogs up your Inbox, and the worst offender, insists on phoning you masquerading as “Just a courtesy call.”
I know this is someone’s job to ring you just as you’ve sat down to dinner, settled down to watch Eastenders, or sunk into a hot steaming bubble bath – but have these people no shame?

Here’s a quick tip if you suffer the same problem with unwanted callers:
The Telephone Preference Service
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is the central opt out register on which you can record your preference not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls to your home or mobile* telephone numbers. It is a legal requirement that all organisations (including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties) do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS unless they have your consent to do so.
Give it a try – our unwanted calls have all but disappeared since we joined this scheme – I highly recommend it.

Anyway, one of the main reasons I hate all these forms of Junk communications now more than usual, is one of the same reasons I now find myself having time to write this Blog. I’m waiting for some news!
I can’t say too much just now for fear of Jinxing it becoming good news – but it’s to do with writing, and could be great for my career… I’ll keep you posted.
Waiting patiently (something I don’t do well at the best of times) involves me refreshing my inbox every five minutes, jumping for the phone when it rings, and even though I don’t expect the news will come by snail mail, pouncing on the doormat when the post arrives. (Then chucking it all in the recycling bin when it’s predominately Junk.)
Here’s a question for anyone out there who’s a Postie: What do you think of Junk mail? Is it a real pain that you’re forced to deliver all this extra post that’s obviously unwanted? Or do you get paid extra for doing so? I’ve always wondered…

So to get back on course (I told you at the beginning I’d ramble) waiting for the ‘news’ is preventing me from getting on with further writing projects – I just can’t start something new until I know.
That’s just the opposite of what the writing ‘experts’ tell you to do. Finish one project, they say, then send your baby out into the world (well actually off to your publisher/agent etc.) then start something new – so the painful wait for (hopefully) some positive feedback, isn’t such a tortuous affair.

This painful wait is trebled if you’re an unpublished writer without an agent, because at this stage you’re ‘touting for business so to speak.
The standard way to sell your manuscript in this day and age is to send to a literary agent - a preliminary letter, 3 chapters of your novel, and a synopsis of the whole book. The agent will then 99.9% of the time will throw you into a ‘Not right for our agency’ pile. Or a ‘Not confident of being able to successfully place it with a publisher’ pile, or even the ‘I really loved this, but with my already large client list, and huge workload, I didn’t feel… blah, blah.’ Which basically all amount to the same thing – NO! And you then (well about six weeks later) get a letter saying as much, but gift wrapped beautifully - so not to offend - with one of the above agent catch phrases.
But occasionally you do get the odd word of encouragement – which, if there’s any agents reading this, (And if there are can I just remind you of again!) means the world to us writers, and can make the difference between us sitting down at that keyboard again to write something else, and banging our head against a wall/flushing it down the toilet/ or, drowning our sorrows with a family size bar of Cadburys Dairy Milk. (I prefer the later, even if my waistband doesn’t!)

So now you know ONE of the reasons I’m currently finding the time to Blog.

More soon,

A x

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