Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Pet Peeves

I haven't posted on here in quite awhile, I've just been too busy with, well, actual writing work for which I am paid. Priorities, dontchya know. I microblog on Facebook because it doesn't involve much time, and I'd rather expend my very limited free time doing something other than writing, since writing is my job, and when was the last time you did your job as a vacation? But I digress. I thought I'd kick off the New Year with a list of my pet peeves. Some of them are writing-related, others are just general pet peeves. But, since a lot of people go out of their way to annoy me in a manner directly related to my profession, a lot of my pet peeves are directly related to writing. (People really do seem to become unintelligent and socially inept where the writing biz is concerned. I wonder what would happen to our economy if people behaved the same way about the stock market. Oh, snap. . .)

My Top Ten Pet Peeves, in descending order:

10) People who come up to me at parties and ask if I will participate in some half-baked get-rich-quick writing scheme of theirs for free. I have been dealing with this for years, and you'd think people would buy a clue by now, but they never do. Some dude came up to me at a Christmas party last month and asked if I would be interested in ghostwriting a memoir for some Z-list pseudo-celebrity he allegedly goes bar-hopping with. "What would he have to do to hire you?" the dude asked. "He can write me a very large check," I replied. "In advance. The going rate is about $50,000, minimum." The dude was surprised by this. "But, wouldn't you get paid AFTER the book is published?" I was like, "You mean, work for free? I don't think so."

9) People who email me on Facebook asking if I will please use my "connections" to help them track down and hire internationally bestselling authors to work for their half-baked venture-capital computer software scheme, FOR FREE. Uh huh. Because I'm sure people like Terry Brooks, Orson Scott Card and Stephen King would absolutely love it if I showed up on their doorstep asking them to do me a favor for someone I'm not even friends with, and they don't even know me personally in the first place, and somehow I don't think they'd be interested in writing content and characters for your 10th-generation copycat of World of Warcraft for zero compensation when they make more money for a two-hour speaking engagement than I make in a year. Yeah. Right. Please go take a long walk off a short pier. Thank you very much.

8) Flaky people. You know, I am so sick of people asking me to help them with shit, who want me to take time out of my busy schedules to teach them a craft, do them a favor, make them something, whatever, and I offer to do it, and set up a time, yadayadayada, and then they flake out on me and cancel, multiple times, and then wonder why I don't want to help them with anything anymore. Seriously? Go to hell.

7) Flaky people, Part Deux. Ya know, if I've already helped you with something, and all you have to do to complete the task to get what you want is stick it in an envelope and lick a stamp, and you don't even do that, for like a YEAR, and then wonder why you haven't gotten what you want, well, you need help. (And the best way to accomplish something, however small, is to DO IT, and stop BSing about it. This rule is widely applicable. Give it a try sometime.)

6) Childless people who lecture me on how to be a parent. This requires no further explanation.

5) Single and/or multiply divorced people who lecture me about how to have a healthy long-term relationship. Again, this requires no further explanation.

4) People who interrupt me when I'm teaching a class every five seconds. If you're taking my class (or any class, for that matter), you'll find you learn a lot more if you actually LISTEN to the instructor instead of interrupting her ALL THE TIME. I have been known to kick students out of my classes who do this too much. And raising your hand first BEFORE blurting out your questions also helps.

3) Gun nuts. I really have no use for firearms, and even less use for people who continuously espouse how wonderful things that are used to kill people by means of explosion violence are, especially when they ignore all the scientific/public health evidence to the contrary. Seriously, these people piss me off. Stay out of my state. Better yet, go form your own country somewhere in the Arctic and don't come back, ever, and hopefully you will all just shoot each other to death and do the rest of us a favor. Bye.

2) People who don't appreciate the favors you do for them. A simple "thank you" will suffice. Biting the hand that feeds you is usually not a good way to go through life. Nor is it a way to win friends or influence people.

1) Mean, nasty, self-important haters who have nothing better to do than to attack/belittle everything I do, believe, and say. I've run into a lot of them over the past year. Granted, I'm responsible for that to some extent, because I'm tolerant to a fault. But no more. There's a new sheriff in town, and if you act like an asshole, and/or act like an asshole to people I care about, please do not expect me to keep talking to you. I don't care how long we've known each other, or how important you think you are, that rule applies to everyone.

(Oh, and then there's the random no-name people who email me asking if I will write their incredibly fascinating life story for them at no charge, sign over the copyright, and let them keep all the millions of dollars it will surely make for themselves. Gotta love them. NOT.)


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