Wasabi Impact – Keeping It Professional In A Small Publishing Business

One word for you…Wasabi. That’s what this dish is covered with. If you’ve never had it before, Wasabi is green Japanese horse radish. NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!!!

When my husband and I first met we were out with a group of friend’s at a Japanese steak house. Being green to the wasabi on my plate, my friends thought they’d have some fun. (No worries, I got even…it’s called lutefisk.)

I naively asked, so how much do I use? Oh, they reassured me that I should use a scoop about the size of a nickle. So, I went along and slathered it on top of a small piece of mushroom tempura.

YIKES!!! My tongue and throat were on fire. My sinuses cleared and my voice squeaked. There wasn’t enough water in the whole restaurant that night. My taste buds were destroyed for a week.

Wasabi is potent stuff usually only consumed in small bits less than the size of a dime. I didn’t know that then, but since my husband knew nothing of lutefisk, we are still happily married. Lol!

What does wasabi and the writing profession have in common?

Potency. Small things have a big ripple effect in a small pond. Likewise, a little bit of the wrong kind of spice ruins the flavor of your professional reputation.

Are you getting in the way of your own professional advancement?

What would have a negative wasabi type impact on your reputation in the publishing industry?

*Publicly Criticizing Experts In The Industry. Putting down an author, editor or agent smacks of an attitude of superiority. If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all. Recognize the strengths of others and be aware of your imperfections.

*Speaking Unprofessionally On Facebook, Blogs, or other internet venues. Really, do not say anything on line that you wouldn’t want to say in front of a crowd full of professional authors, or your own mother.

*Arguing With Negative Reviews. A year ago a writer responded defensively to a negative book review. Her poor choice of words and nasty attitude went viral in just 24 hours. She did enormous damage to her credibility as a writer in just a few hours.

*Having an Unteachable Spirit. If you argue with the voices of wisdom in your profession on a consistent basis, you will appear to be unteachable. No one wants to take on this type of writer because when it comes to the editing phase before  publication you will be a nightmare to work with and kill your hopes of a publishing future.

*Unethical Behavior. A wide range of issues like plagerism, dishonesty, etc.

*Responding To A Rejection Letter With An Angry Reply. The agents and editors who read our manuscripts are the gate keepers of this industry. They do talk to each other.

You will notice that I didn’t mention some of the things that are mistakes new writers do, without realizing it. That is because you can fix that by changing your actions and apologizing if necessary.

Agents and editors as well as others in the industry do realize that every one is green in the beginning. So, if you’ve made a newbie mistake, don’t fret. Learn from your mistakes and move forward.

If you have done something that created a wasabi type reaction to your reputation:


*Make it right.

*Don’t Make Excuses.

*Show Respect To Those You Have Wronged In A Public Manner.

*Change Your Behavior.

*Pray for guidance and move forward.

What other advice would you give to someone who has damaged their reputation? Or what food have you been tricked into eating?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

8 thoughts on “Wasabi Impact – Keeping It Professional In A Small Publishing Business

  1. You’ve pretty well covered it, Michelle…but it’s worth repeating: Take a minute to think before you type and hit send!

  2. Pat Trainum says:

    You’ve pretty well covered it, Michelle…but it’s worth repeating: Take a minute to think before you type and hit send!

  3. dtopliff says:

    Wasabi is the best possible parallel for these no-nos, and you describe its effects powerfully.

  4. Michelle Lim says:

    Thanks, Delores! Some things can be toxic to our career.

  5. M. Saint-Germain says:

    You aren’t going to believe this… I just finished my post for tomorrow and wrote about WASABI, too. What are the odds of that? We must be on the same ‘wave length’… or something.

  6. Michelle Lim says:

    LOL! Well, we are just thinking alike. That is a good thing to know I think like you! I feel smart already.

  7. […] previously shared my wasabi experience on my blog. If you missed it, wasabi is a spicy Japanese horseradish. The size of a penny will […]

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