"The only way to do great work is to love what you do" (stolen from a Colin Smith comment)
Two excellent posts, the latter of which should be required reading for all fucking writers.
Concerning Josh Olson's article, I say Amen sister.Every service job has its share of free loaders. The art of tactfully saying no is hard.
Both of those contain some quote-worthy gems.
Josh Olson = hero.@Kristin Nelson: Form rejections rule! I have never been harmed by a form rejection. I have been harmed by a rejection-with-reasons. Form rejections are the perfect business tool to get this job done.
That's brilliant. It's so interesting to see the same sort of topic floating around this week. Really it's all about consideration for others' time and knowledge, and the unbelievable entitlement displayed by so many. Wow.
I've seen the Olson post all over the Internet lately; it's priceless.Kristin's piece is spot on, too. I'm a writer, and I've queried many an agent, and have come to realize their job is to represent me to publishers. It is not to provide free writing advice. Join a critique group. Hire an agent. Take a class. No one--NO ONE-- is obligated to help you with your writing, unless you've paid for the assistance.
I just about wet my fucking pants reading the second link! Entitlement really is bad for our health, isn't it? May the universe spew eternally on me if I ever act like such an ass-clown.
The comments section to the Olson article left me flabbergasted when I read them. So many of the commenters seemed to feel entitled to a professional's time and attention, and don't really seem to understand what they're asking for for free.
The second link was fabulous, but I found something even better off of said link: Harlan Ellison reading a Dr. Seuss-like poem called, "I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script."It's brilliance, people, truly. And I'm not saying that because he's one of my top-five favorite authors, either. You will laugh your ass off when you hear him.It's worth clicking the link.
Harlan Ellison and the Seussified I WILL NOT READ YOUR FUCKING SCRIPT
lol... wga knows what it's doing :)
I was baffled by the comments to Olson's article, too. "All he has to do is say 'no'?" WTF? Miss the point much?
There's a lot of hating in the comments, but Olson makes a good point. I wrote something similar once for the Absolute Write newsletter. I believe most unpublished writers (and even some who are) still work full time, have homes and families, and all the daily stuff that takes up the majority of their time. Writing is something they squeeze in by missing sleep or social events or dinner. I personally have been bombarded by so many requests to read, edit, review, champion, vote, etc., that it was taking up all my time--and I'm not even a professional. I finally had to start saying no, and some people who were supposedly friends became offended. Haven't heard from them since.I also have another skill that people love to have but like to get for free, especially when they know me. It's knowledge I've acquired over 30 years, and it takes quite a bit of time to do for someone. I sometimes do it once for someone I like, but when they begin to take advantage of it and ask me repeatedly to oblige them, it hurts me to have to avoid them, especially when I like them. But when I've clearly stated that I'm overwhelmed with work, and they ask anyway, it's frustrating. It's not that I don't want to help, but I've already said I can't right now, and it goes in one ear ...
I remember back in my (TV) development days, people would ask my bosses to read their stuff and they would agree and pass it on to me. So I would write a standard script or book coverage, as if it were any other project that came across my desk, and my bosses would say, "This isn't right! You have to make it NICE! He's my FRIEND!"Yeah, well, your friend can't write! Which you'd know if you read it your damn self instead of sloughing it off on me.I have good friends whose manuscripts I would read if they asked me to, but they'd better be prepared for an honest opinion. That's the only kind I'm capable of.
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