In Life, it helps to learn to wipe your own backside

One of my major frustrations in the last fortnight has been someone who keeps coming back to me for the same information – which was given to her/him a couple of months ago. The revenant activity is not because s/he can’t find the info I gave her/him in the first place. There have been several fulsome emails and directions to other sources of the info s/he needs. S/he has been handed the keys to the kingdom

But s/he is lazy and wants someone to do the work of finding an agent/publisher for her/him. This person cites “being extremely busy due to a day job” as the reason for finding the task “too hard”.

Well, welcome to the world of writing.

Most of us hold down day jobs and have to fit our writing in between the cracks of earning a living, spending time with family and friends, eating and – lest we forget that most wonderful of past-times – sleeping. Sleeping is kind of a non-negotiable.

This brings me to another point about favours and soliciting them: when you ask someone for a favour you are asking them for their time. The least you can do is value that time. The time someone spends doing you a favour is time they could be spending writing and moving their own career forward.

So, you know what? Don’t be a time-suck. Don’t be an ingrate. If someone does help you out, if someone does you the kindness of donating their time to your cause, then do the right thing: take that information and use it. Do what has been suggested. Do it in a good and timely manner – do not come back to that person weeks or months after they have done the favour and say “Aw, yeah, I kinda didn’t do it coz I found it daunting and now I want you to go back over everything again.”

This is the professional equivalent of asking someone to wipe your backside and is about as respectful. The answer will probably rhyme with “firetruck cough”.

If you have not made good use of the information and time given unto you, then do not go back to the source and ask for more time and more information.

Yes, I am wearing my grumpy pants and have accessorised them with grumpy beret, grumpy pumps, grumpy shirt, grumpy earrings and a severely pissed-off handbag.

This entry was posted in On Writing: General and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to In Life, it helps to learn to wipe your own backside