A few bad apples

There are few things I despise more than lack of manners. Really, only hypocritical behavior and criminal activity come to mind as worse offences. So when people ask me for help and I give it, I expect a thank you. I don’t think that’s a lot to ask, but evidently it is.

When I was a dreaming-to-be-author, I worked with someone who had just gotten their first book deal and I asked her for help. The fact that she didn’t give it was disappointing, but I understood her reticence. Sending someone to your agent can be tricky. The two times I have done it, it didn’t work out. And in one of those cases, it became contentious. So I will probably never refer anyone to my agent again. But I will suggesst other helpful resources. For this, I expect a thank you because I took time out of my life to gather up that  information.

If you are someone I know, or someone whose school I have visited, and you ask me to read something that you wrote, and I read it and give you specific feedback, I expect a thank you. Constructive feedback takes even more time out of my life. I am not sitting around twiddling my thumbs hoping someone will ask me for help. I am a busy person.

One of the main purposes of this blog is to help beginning writers. There is a search box at the right to direct you to relevant posts, you can Google or Bing for other resources, and when in doubt ask your local librarian.

But as for personal help… since so many people have so little manners… I’m rolling up the welcome mat.

[Photo credit: http://www.superstock.com/stock-photos-images/1606-32710]

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2 thoughts on “A few bad apples

  1. Tracy Hahn-Burkett says:

    Oh, Tracey, I know what you mean about people being unappreciative, even bitter. That kind of behavior does make you want to tell the whole world to just, well, I won’t leave that kind of language on someone else’s blog.

    But if you have a good heart and enjoy helping people who are starting out, don’t let a few bad apples take that away from you. You can establish some guidelines perhaps, rethink how you do this or under what conditions. (I totally get never referring anyone to your agent again.) But it would be a shame if you let a few ingrates spoil completely something that adds value to your life and your career and the lives and careers of others.

    Surely some of the people whose manuscripts you’ve critiqued have been appreciative. Hopefully, there have been more of those than the other type. Don’t let the bitter people win.

  2. Tracey says:

    Tracy, I know you are right. And I’m sure I will still help. I just find myself particularly irritated this morning.

    Thanks for your encouragement. You’re great.

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