Mistake 58: Buying in to the We-They Attitude

70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from The Writer’s Digest Writing Kit

Why this is a mistake: In any gathering of authors, sooner or later you pick up a we-they attitude, where authors seem to be on one side, and editors and agents and publishers seem to be on the other, as if the two groups were enemies locked in an eternal battle. It’s almost as if would-be authors see agents and editors as allied to keep them from being published. But this just isn’t the case—without authors, who would agents and editors publish? Publishers need writers, and the agents and editors know that and respect writers. Well, most of them do. The majority of this we-they attitude seems to come from unpublished writers who see agents and editors, correctly to an extent, as the gate-keepers to the world of being published.

The solution:
Instead of seeing agents and editors as the enemy, embrace them as allies. Frankly, seeing them as enemies is profoundly self-defeating. Everyone has the same goal: to publish good books. When an agent or editor gets treated as a partner in the process, she tends to become less a gate-keeper and more of a facilitator.

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