Friday, December 30, 2011

An Apology

Last week, an email from The Quivering Pen went out to nearly 1,800 addresses.  I suspect about 1,500 of those recipients had not expected this email, nor did they even want it in their Inbox.  I'm here to apologize for that mass emailing, which came about as a glitch in a new format (via Mail Chimp) which I'm trying out for my weekly Quivering Pen updates.  Instead of sending the email to just those who had signed up for Friday Freebie contests and/or expressed an interest in the blog in the past, the "This Week at the Quivering Pen" email was blasted out to all of my Gmail contacts.  You can imagine my embarrassment.  But if you can't imagine it, picture me crawling under the nearest rock and pulling it over my head.

I take only small comfort in the fact that the New York Times had a similar problem this past week.

Understandably, the reaction was, in some cases, strong.  One person went so far as to write (as a reason for unsubscribing): "The Quivering Pen nauseates me, more or less.  All these just-hatched writers laying down the law, as if they already knew all about it.  Narcissism and arrogance, lovely."

Okay, I can take a hint.

So, in an effort to try and smooth the waters and repair whatever damage I may have done to unwitting and unwilling Inboxes, I sincerely apologize for my error.  I'll be much more careful with those Mail Chimps in the future.



  1. The Quivering Pen inspires me, more or less. All these just-hatched writers sharing their stories and insight, as if they already knew that I needed constant reassurance that writing matters. Encouragement and generosity, lovely.

    Good luck taming those e-mail chimps! Don't worry about 'em on my account. I never mind an unexpected e-mail about writing, writers or books. Even a wayward chimp is a great distraction from the in-box alligators - you know, the kind that are closest to my...boat.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Really, David, I think that one response was way over the top. It happens. No one wants it--well, except the spammers--but new technology sometimes gets the upper hand. Let me say it here: you are a damn interesting writer, not at all of the "just-hatched" variety. Someone had a tumbleweed in his underwear, I think, and rest assured it was not you.

  3. When The Quivering Pen arrived, I thought I was simply One of the Chosen. (Sigh.) Now I find I was a chimp error. Since I'm a writer with similar aspirations, I enjoy your musings. I, however, am more likely to write until 3:30 a.m. than to set my alarm for that lonely hour.

  4. And as for me, Mr. Abrams, it took me a few minutes to realize that the unexpected email came from one of my "adopted soldiers," whose letters I always looked forward to reading and with whom I'd lost touch. I was delighted to hear from you and to learn that you write a blog on books, and would like to stay subscribed to your list, thank you very much! What do I need to do to ensure that I'm not taken off? Best wishes to you & your family in 2012. -- Rebecca Schwartz

  5. Thanks, everyone! Your kind words have reassured me that I'm not as stupid as I feel. And I'm glad I didn't nauseate the majority of you.

    Donna: rest assured, you ARE one of the Chosen (at least in my book).

    Rebecca: So great to hear from you after all these years. I'm glad the MailChimps accidentally connected us again. As for how to get on the list? You need do nothing if you're already receiving a "This Week at the Quivering Pen" email.

    For anyone else who might want to willingly subscribe to the weekly newsletter, you can visit this webpage and, at the very bottom, in tiny print, click the "Subscribe" link (or the link at the top of the page will do it, too, I suppose):

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