Apparently the writer whose work was rejected, after blocking me from her own blog, has sent all her fans here to read all about what a big bully I am (by being pissy and snippy in writing about my interaction with her for my own purposes on my own blog.) Let’s just remember that her fan called me an “arrogant prick” if we’re going to talk bout bullying…
It’s not like I haven’t given this any thought. My tone degraded, and I apologized for it in a comment on her blog before she blocked me. I AM sorry that she was hurt, especially if as I suspect (and none of her fans have disputed) that she is young and inexperienced.
Here’s the thing though: I am more frustrated with myself than I am with her, or anyone else involved in this, and this is why: I thought even as I started the first, gentle, maybe-you-might-consider email that I was going to be wasting my time. I just don’t think she or her fans are in a space where they can hear “your writing isn’t good” no matter how professionally or kindly it is stated.
So what was my fuckup? I kept going. And I kept going because I thought if I was somehow able to get across to her with my writing that her writing needs work in these structural elements, then she could work on it, get published easily in the future, and it would be a win-win for her and her fans.
That was arrogant and deluded on my part. Her inability to take criticism isn’t based on what I was saying or on what the journal editor said, or on how we said it. She, and her fans, are defensively invested in her identity as a “good writer.” So I’ve hurt her, pissed off her league of fans, and got nowhere in convincing her that the journal editor had a point. And now, I have to let this go.
Edit: proof that her fans are too invested to see the facts: she has self-published books (where you pay a printer the full printing costs so anyone can “self-print” anything.) Nope, that doesn’t have the same street cred as a real publication, to anyone but fans of authors who only have self-published work! Ha!