You wouldn’t ask a lawyer to review a contract for free. Stop asking me for my writing for your website/magazine/nonprofit for $0. I put my time, research, and energy into tracking down sources, interviewing people, researching, and then writing a piece. Why should I give that to anyone for exposure, a link to my website, or full credit?
We all get rejected, even the best of the best. My husband is a successful TV writer and executive producer. He still gets rejected on scripts he’s written. Sure, you see my online portfolio, but you don’t see the many rejections and countless pitches I’ve sent out to get here.
If your friend of a friend wants writing career guidance, please tell them that doesn’t mean I will give them all my contacts and introduce them to everyone I know. I will answer questions and make suggestions, but please don’t assume I’m an open Rolodex.
“I have an idea you should write.” Thank you, but I write what I’m passionate about and some times what you find fascinating isn’t interesting to me.
Sending a writer a compliment about their work is very sweet. I’ve written/tweeted/emailed writers who have penned an amazing essay or book and told them how much I liked their work. That’s it. I don’t expect an email back. I don’t expect that they will connect me to their world of writing contacts. I just want to say that I read their words and appreciate their work. Whenever someone writes or tweets me about something I’ve written, it’s a very nice gesture.