Monday, May 18, 2009

What Impression Do You Make?

A couple of days ago, I sent my manuscript back to the publisher with the requested changes. I was glad to see the changes needed, because I knew I had lost my objectivity since I'd worked on it for so long.

Then, I received an email Thursday that left me smiling. My publisher said, "You've been very good about working with us, and I appreciate that."

Isn't that wonderful? I have tried hard to come across as a professional. I don't know how often I actually achieve that position, but apparently here, with my publisher, I have a great reputation.

Reputation is important. It can make or break you not just in the writing world, but your personal world as well. The publishing world is relatively small, and editors talk to each other. If you come across as less than professional, as a pain in the neck, so to speak, you will pass on that reputation.

I know that I have one person who wants to be interviewed on my blog that has dragged a less than sterling reputation around with her. Because of this, I do not plan to interview her on my blog.

What can you do about a poor reputation? Well, it's never too late to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and forge ahead. It will take some time before others will view you as a professional, or not.

Take me, for example. I take meds for a medical condition that I have. One of the side effects of the meds is that my long term memory is affected. As such, if I don't print out every correspondence with folks about what I receive from them, or they receive from me, I come across looking like a buffoon. And, frankly, I don't even remember all the times I have corresponded and can't find the emails to those individuals, so I still come out looking a bit less than rosy.

Of course, I could lament my position, and let it get me down, or I can do what I strive to do: try to come across as more of a professional. I also work hard on becoming more organized so that dropping the ball happens less and less often.

So, what's your reputation? What sort of impression have you made on your colleagues and in the writing world? If it's less than sterling, don't give up. Strive to become more professional and folks will begin to see you that way.


storylady said...

Hi Katie. I would hope that I have presented myself in a way that most people would approve of, and think kindly of me. I always try and be professional in my business endeavors, and on a personnal note, I am always respectful of another person's feelings, and do the right thing.
We all have our way of conducting ourselves, and although not all may agree with us, we have to be our own person.

Pat McDermott said...

Hello Katie. Reputation is a tricky thing, as others see us subjectively and opinions vary. All we can do is our best. By cooperating in every respect to achieve a finished, polished story ready for publishing, we're likely to guarantee that there'll be other stories published down the line. Congratulations on the rapport you've developed with your editor, and best wishes for continued success!

unwriter said...

Yes, I agree, congrat on your rapport with your editor. How do I come across? I would hope professional, yet more than a little crazy. That last part is important to me because of what I write and how. I also want to be known as the person who only writes g rated material.

One is treated equally to how they treat others. I do try to be as friendly and professional as I can.

Lynn McMonigal said...


Wonderful post! In this day and age, I think a lot of people tend to forget that what others think of them, how others view them really is important. Is it important to make everyone like me? No. As the old saying goes, "You can't please all of the people all of the time."

I don't even worry about pleasing some of the people some of the time. But I do worry about keeping my reputation in tact. I write a certain kind of material. If I am not living the life I present in my work, readers are not going to care what I have written.

Thank you, Katie, for reminding everyone that reputation does matter.


danceluvr said...

Another important point about reputation is that the Internet lasts Forever. So once you've stated an unpopular or controversial comment, with your name or moniker, it will outlast you.

Be careful what you say that's attached to your name.

Donna McDine said...

A positive lasting impression is certainly important not only in your writing career, but each day with everyone you come in contact with. I completely agree with danceluvr...the Internet certainly lasts forever. And Big Brother is truly watching. If you come across obnoxious and rude, people who are in the power to make the final decision on your manuscript, may go running away from you - from bad impressions you have made. The world is certainly a small place, so always put your best foot forward.

Best wishes,

P.S. Kudos to the terrific impression you have made and are making with your publisher!

Katie Hines said...

Thanks to those who congratulated me on my relationship with my publisher. I hope no one thinks I said that to toot my own horn, rather, to show how important it is to work hard on our reputations and leave lasting good impressions. Great point about the internet, too!

Sally_Odgers said...

One thing about reputation is that it CAN come round to bite you. From 1977 to 1999 I could write at least 20,000 words a week, so I turned jobs around very quickly. I ended up with tendonitis in both hands as a result of so much heavy typing. It took more than 20 years to manifest, but ten years later it's still with me. My reputation for fast work means now people expect it, so if I work at the speed my hands allow, I come across as LESS professional than I did.
Fortunately, I still get work, but I have to remind myself NOT to give people my former timelines.