Monday, March 09, 2009

Misbehaving

I attended a lecture last week. The speaker shared this quote by an anonymous source, "Well-behaved women rarely make history."

What do you think? Do you agree with that sentiment? I do. It makes me think of Rosa Parks, Ida B. Wells and Shirley Chisholm.

That quote reminded me of another presentation I attended years ago. The speakers were New York Times best-selling authors Jayne Ann Krentz and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. The title was "Secrets of the Best-Selling Sisterhood." The authors' main point was, to be successful, you have to break some rules. Misbehave, if you will. Of course, one should follow the basic tenants of social politeness, but at least question the rules.

Let's take publishing, for example. If publishers won't accept submissions unless that publisher has specifically requested the submission, then we'd be better served to wait for their request. But why can't we submit to multiple publishers at the same time?

If an agent's submission guidelines state she'll respond to our inquiry in eight weeks, why can't we follow up in nine or 10 weeks - if we haven't heard from her - to respectfully request a status on our inquiry?

If a publisher offers us a contract, why can't we try to negotiate for better terms, even on our first contract? Until I've signed the contract, that manuscript is mine. It's in my best interest to make sure I'm comfortable with the terms. After all, don't we want both parties have a good experience with this relationship?


What are your thoughts on misbehaving? Do good girls finish last? Or do you get farther by following the rules?

Patricia

6 comments:

Rhonda McKnight said...

Ha! I guess I'm bad, bad, bad. I did all those things!

angela henry said...

I'm with you Patricia. Rule breaking is essential to get ahead. No one pays attention to the good girls. LOL!

CS Designs said...

I don't think you have to give up the title of "good girl" if you do something bad every now and then. After all, most women are used to wearing more than one hat. (smile)

All the best,

~ Charlotte

Patricia Sargeant said...

Hey, Rhonda.

Good for you!

Thanks for stopping by.

Patricia

Patricia Sargeant said...

True that, Angela.

Here's to having the courage to change those things we can and the wisdom to know the difference. :)

Patricia

Patricia Sargeant said...

Charlotte, you're absolutely right! Women are used to wearing more than one hat - and doing it with style. :)

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your wise words.

Patricia

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