I recently interviewed several candidates for my day job and while they brought some great qualities to the interview, they unfortunately demonstrated quite a few unwelcome qualities. In short, I just didn’t see them qualified for the particular role they were applying for, at least not yet.
Either way, the experience got me thinking about my own “writing interview” and how I’d fair as an author. If I’m going to be honest, I’d have to say that I haven’t always been qualified and even today, I’m not sure I’ve got all the qualities of the role. Does that mean I never will or can? I’d say no to that, but too often I believe publishers and agents see authors falling short of the mark.
When I look for those I’d like to hire on, I’m searching for career candidates who are hardworking, dedicated, talented in the requirements of the role and most of all, coachable to what it is they still need to learn. I also have to determine whether I and my peers have the time to invest in coaching them, meaning are the gaps small or will they require much more extensive work.
I’d imagine publishers and agents must look at authors in a similar light. Not only must they evaluate whether an author has produced a quality product, but they must also decide what the future holds for a relationship with this author. Can they depend on this author for continued quality work? Is the author dedicated and hardworking? Are they coachable? Or do they fall too short of the mark this time around?
Just a few thoughts to think about the next time you are beating yourself up about a rejection. Writing is a business and as authors we should constantly be improving our craft and our management of our own business and representation. Think about what you would want out of yourself as an employee and give it your all. You just might see a better success rate the next go round.