Author Motivation

Fake Acceptance Letters

Motivation is not a one size fits all prospect.  Some people fuel themselves with anger: “I’ll show them, I’ll show them all!”  Some people respond well to people yelling at them, some do well with gentle coaxing.  Some people plod along with a mulish refusal to give up.  I do well myself by having the loving support of family and friends mixed with small successes.  These small successes are my scientific evidence I’m not just wasting my time.

Right now I have not had even small successes, and I realized that I needed an acceptance letter.  Why not just accept myself?  I know what I want to hear.  So I wrote:

Dear Jane,

We are pleased to inform you that your novel has been accepted.  We were blown away by your characters and the writing is brilliant, fast-paced and sharp.  I shared your manuscript around the office and we want to see everything you have ever written so that we can read all of that too.  You need to write faster!

I am sending you our standard rich and famous contract, author edition, for you to consider.  Later we will send a private helicopter to bring you to NYC for dinner with the editor and cover artist to discuss your book tour.

I understand that you almost gave up in your pursuit of writing because you were feeling disheartened and unappreciated.  That would have been a heartbreaking shame!  The world needs your novel.  We look forward to seeing your next project.


Big Time Editor

That was fun, so I asked my friends to accept me as well, and got these gems:

Dear Mrs./Mr./It. Jane

On behalf of the Random Houze Publishimaciky Company, I would like to be the first of THOUSANDS to congratulate you on being accepted. We wholeheartedly and fully, without question, compromise or second thought, accept your work as the brilliant masterpiece that it is. We prostrate ourselves before you, and beg of you to provide us more of these fine novels upon which we may dine in delight. Please accept our apologies for not hand-delivering this letter, as our normal courier Benji is presently sick with the dog flu. Nasty illness: phlegm and mucus everywhere, not to mention fecal discharge and urinary crystals. The vet says he’ll be back to normal, or blissfully deceased, within a week. We can only hope!

Anyway, where was I? Ah, yes, we thank you for your submission, and will be putting you in touch with our copy editor soon, so that we may transform this brilliant work of art into a glorious first, second and thirteenth edition, post hate! Haste, rather. Post haste.

I have just one, small request, however. You see, I have a, how shall we say, penchant, for purple prose. I was wondering, if it isn’t too much to ask, if you wouldn’t mind including a small nod to Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton’s masterful execution of “Dark and Stormy Night”, or perhaps John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE’s brilliant execution of elvish and dwarvish singing in a passage or two, that I, er, rather, we, might bask in the purply goodness.

At any rate, I look forward to welcoming you in person at our new office in the Staten Island Landfill, just as soon as our variance is approved and enough gas masks can be procured to ensure the safety of our guests and prisoners. Employees. EMPLOYEES. I didn’t say prisoners.

Best Regarded Later,
Jeffery Popplebuff

Ah.  Um.  Well.  Moving on…

Dear Mrs. Jane;

It has come to our attention that a grievous error has been made. It has been our goal for the last several weeks to contact you, but due to a tragic accident involving peanut butter, a wooden yardstick and an over-zealous hamster (darn those guys in IT), the computer that contained all of your contact information was confused with another Jane that lives in Waderutalkinbout, Tennessee. She wrote a 1317 page novel on the theoretical implications of dental floss on the general shape and meaning of the universe (complete with footnote and an annotated bibliography.) Although I am loath to say it, I was forced to complete the entire story in order to explain in detail why we wouldn’t be publishing her book. It took 4 trained assassins, 2 sessions of water boarding and a very stern look from my 6th grade English teacher to complete the book. The letter I originally wrote in response to her caused my computer to short out. Instead, I had to send a form letter offering phrases like “not right at this time,” and “thank you for your submission”, when in fact I wanted to hire the assassins myself. In short, it was bad. To compound the issue, her letter was sent to you, and vise-versa. We are now in court proceedings, as she thinks that we are obligated to produce her drivel. If we can find a judge who can stay alive long enough to finish the book, I’m sure we can clear things up very quickly. However, I am delighted to say that after all of that, I was able to sit down and enjoy the thrilling tale you spun from the pure gold that is the union of your heart mind and soul. Such sweet nectar rarely crosses my desk and acted as the golden buffer between myself and a lunch of brightly colored pills and a bottle of cheap and varnish like alcohol. I now live to read your next work of brilliance! However, I do regret to say that I can not allow your book to be published. The general public is not ready, nay they cannot be allowed to sully such a fine piece of literary triumph! Please accept my most humble thanks and apology in this matter. Your words have been heard and approved. Your friend, Harding Cutthroat III

Mrs. WJane,
We deeply regret having accidentally misfiled our previous acceptances of all your submitted works to date. It seems the clerk, who has been flogged, filed them under “W” and we were unable to find them.
We believed, to our shame, that you had rejected us. We wept at staff meetings as we thought of your delightful works published by some better filed house. 
But now, our clerk has seen the error of her ways and located all your acceptances, including, we now realize, three for one book alone. It is only fair that we publish that one three times, with three separate covers, to make up for our grievous disorganization.
Please allow us to publish your stories! We promise the best artists, the creamiest white paper, the silkiest ink and the firmest of bindings if only you will take us back.
Mr. My Name Stamp Has Also Been Misfiled

So, if you have not been getting any praise for your art lately, I suggest you go out and accept yourself today!

dearest author

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