How To Approach An Author – Dos and Don’ts

How To Approach An Author – Dos And Don’ts

By

Rebecca Besser

 

Most writers/authors aren’t jerks, but they can come across as jerks on social media.

Why?

Because most writers/authors aren’t sitting around waiting for someone to randomly message/contact them on social media. They’re writing, dealing with their family life, and basically just living as human beings. Writers/authors may seem like magical creative creatures that live in an alternate reality where things are much more beautiful and artistic, but they live on planet Earth and have the same issues as other people: they have kids, spouses, get sick, have doctor appointments, run errands, etc.

Add on top of that real life stuff that they deal with constant deadlines and they’re trying to fit all the normal life stuff around their writing time. Or their writing time around all the normal life stuff. The last thing writers/authors need is someone who contacts them out of the blue asking a bazillion questions about writing.

So, when you get ignored or shut down by terse responses, know that the writer/author isn’t out to be a jerk. We do try to be polite. We do like our fans. We do want to encourage you. We do want to hear about what you think of our books (in a nice way—no one likes rude assholes).

Note: We do love to hear from people who love our stuff; it encourages us. And one of the absolute best ways to do so is to write reviews for our books and post them (Amazon or Goodreads are good places to post). If you just message us and tell us, that’s great too, but reviews are like giving a writer/author a surprise present. We love them. And they help with sales and our careers, which means the world to us. Reviews are the best way to show your favorite writer/author support.

And since that’s all true for those of us who aren’t really jerks (there are some that really are), here are three ways for you to get information from your favorite writer/author without coming across like a needy time-sucker that can’t make an appointment:

 

  • Write and send an email. Most have blogs or websites with at least a contact page. This would allow the writer/author the opportunity to get back to you when they have time. Most will.
  • Ask the writer/author to write a blog post about what you’d like to know. Chances are, other people out in the world would love to hear what the writer/author has to say too.
  • Ask the writer/author for book recommendations or resources about writing where the information you’re seeking is already available. There are many. Chances are, if you look around, you’ll find some helpful stuff on your own.

 

Please keep in mind that unless you know the writer/author personally and they’ve said to hit them up sometime with your questions, that it’s not okay to expect them to be available when you randomly contact them. They don’t live on your schedule. You need to give them time to respond to things like messages/emails without bugging them constantly.

I know it can be hard. I know you sometimes feel a connection over the writer/author’s work…but the writer/author doesn’t know you personally. They aren’t your best friend, but you can possibly become friends if you show restraint and respect in how you contact and try to communicate with them.

 

Copyright © Rebecca Besser 2020

2020 – Managing New Year’s Expectations

2020 – Managing New Year’s Expectations

By Rebecca Besser

 

Today is New Year’s Day, the first day of 2020. On social media people are sharing their resolutions and plans for the upcoming year. That’s all well and good…if you can keep to them. But most people don’t. By the third week to the end of January, the likeliness is that most people will become depressed because they’re failing to meet the lofty goals they’ve set for themselves. Why? Because most of the goals are unrealistic or too big to accomplish easily or in a short time period, which people need to stay motivated. Most people will give up on what they want when they realize it’s going to take time and work.

So, what’s the point? I don’t get it. I’ve set goals at the beginning of the year before. I’ve also set goals mid-year and random other arbitrary points on the calendar. I try to make changes in my life when I see the need for that change. The day, the time, the year doesn’t matter…and it shouldn’t. And that’s why I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions (and that’s completely a personal choice).

Making one point in the year so important people put weight on all the value of change causes undo pressure. And when they fail, the depression arrives. So…why not set goals at your speed, on your schedule? It’s healthier. Not everyone is ready to make big choices for their lives at the same time. Human existence, experience, and need doesn’t match those of other people. And therefore you shouldn’t feel pressured to make those choices and changes on a calendar schedule.

But if the calendar schedule and peer pressure, or just the excitement of the possibility of something fresh and new like New Year’s, spurs you to make changes, make your choices and decisions wisely.

What do I mean by wisely? I mean be smart about the size of your goals and what it will take to reach them. Break down your big goals into small goals.

For example: If you want to lose 50 lbs., don’t expect it to happen in one month by starving yourself or doing some kind of fad dieting. Make small plans for each month that ultimately lead up to all the changes necessary for you to lose the weight. The smaller, slower changes will actually help you change your lifestyle and give you a better chance of keeping the weight off once you’ve lost it (however long it takes to get there).

And guess what happens when you break big goals down into smaller goals? You reach them faster and don’t get depressed because you aren’t seeing any change. You’re making changes. You’re accomplishing something. You’re doing what you need to. You’re changing you and your life.

Another example: If you haven’t been able to write as much as you’d like, and your goal is to write a minimum of 100K for the year, don’t set some crazy unrealistic goal of finding 3 hours a day to write. You’ve been struggling to find time in your day to write at all, so jumping to some big lofty goal you know you can’t meet without major stress isn’t going to help you reach your end goal. Challenge yourself to 100 words a day. Or 500 words a week. Chances are, once you sit down to do those minimum goals, you’ll start writing more than 100 per day or 500 per week. Pretty soon, once you start finding where you can work writing into your schedule, you’ll start finding more time to write, and you’ll start flowing with more word count than you’d originally planned. And once you find those times, once you’re into the flow of your project, you’ll reach your big goal easier because you feel accomplished slaying the smaller ones and going above and beyond your own expectations.

Keeping up a positive attitude and momentum is the hardest part of any goal, no matter the size. And a positive attitude and momentum are the things that are going to get you to the change you want.

I hope all of you that have made New Year’s Resolutions have great success. And I hope my suggestion of managing your goals and expectations inspires you to look at your big goals in a manageable way that will help you get there happily.

Happy New Year!