January 14, 2004
Letters For January 14th
I just read your News From the Home Office and practically rolled off the chair laughing at your description of Max's 'new word' and tissue recycling. Thanks for the good story. I really needed it today. Also thanks for an excellent website. I look forward to it each week, and dream about getting my own writing published. Best of luck, happiness and prosperity to you and your great family in this New Year.
G. Trystan Bentley
~Dump the Jerks!~
Hi Angela -
Want to encourage you to keep dumping the jerks. I've been an owner of a small service business for over 20 years. We do everything and anything you can do in an office - writing, bookkeeping, DTP - if it can be done within the confines of our walls and without purchasing new, one-time use equipment, we will do it.
I don't know how many times I've had people tell me I should give them some sort of special consideration because 1) they will make me lots of money, 2) they always pay their bills - the latter is usually the same type that have tried to negotiate the bill down to nothing - favorite saying, "it's just a simple job," - My answer, 'If it's so simple, do it yourself."
We also have to deal with the ones who wait until the last minute to get their project together and then "their lack of planning becomes out emergency," rush job and they don't want to pay extra for "rush."
Stand your ground, go with your gut feeling. You can generally tell by their opening statements if they are connivers, users, or phonies.
A successful attorney and treasured client and friend of mine once told me he couldn't understand how I stayed in business with my attitude, that if I didn't like the person or they rubbed me the wrong way, or I got that gut feeling, I wouldn't do business with them.
I told him by keeping the riff-raff out, I was able to devote the needed time to those people who appreciated my work. Those are the people who keep coming back and referring others. In all the time I was in business, except for the telephone book, I never paid for an advertisement.
I enjoy your site. Look forward to it each week.
Hugs to YOU for your current article "Don't Compromise . . ."! I've been cranky lately, too, and your modeled example of getting priorities straight (in this wacky industry) was a breath of fresh air. Keep it up. We need more folk (like you) who stand for something mightier than the buck.
Diane Young, Writing-Plus.com
Once again I want to write and thank you for your courage in standing up to the bullies and jerks. When you asked: "Do people really let other people who have money talk to them that way? Do wealthy people really expect everybody to bow down and provide special treatment as a way of begging for their greenback scraps? How ludicrous is that?! " I had to smile.
The answer is unfortunately, yes they do. I have come across people like that recently. I always knew they were out there, but when you meet them personally it's a shock to the system. We just don't think like they do, but that's okay. I don't want to be like that, ever. And if it means letting them look down their noses at me, I don't care. I sleep better at night knowing I'm doing the right thing for me, and I'll bet you do, too.
Funny how I was just thinking about one of the benefits of being a freelancer is that I don't have work with or for jerks!
Besides if someone doesn't stick up to them - they will continue to get by with their bad behavior. Tolerating their better-than-thou or power-hungry attitudes gives them permission to continue. People do it because it works for them! So those of us who want a friendlier, more connected world SHOULD NOT put up with it.
We encourage our children to speak up when they hear gossip or an offensive joke, so why should adults condone jerk behavior? I applaud you for sticking to your guns.
~Your Warning Saved Me a Lot of Time!~
Thanks so much once again! Your warnings site is so valuable. It's the first section of your newsletter that I read.
I was contacted to be an editor at about.com. I was notified that I would be given a series of tests before I got the final okay. After reading your warnings (http://www.writersweekly.com/whispers_and_warnings/about.html), I will have nothing to do with them.
You saved me a lot of time.
I just finished reading, Query Letters That Worked , and, even though I'm biased because I'm a contributor, found it great. I learned a lot about how to improve my query letters. It was fascinating to see what other freelancers are doing to get those assignments.
As far as jerky people getting you down, I have an idea for you. I'm reading a great book called, When Difficult Relatives Happen to Good People. Have you heard of it? The author's (Leonard Felder) techniques have helped me in dealing with all kinds of difficult people including the ones I'm not related to. Maybe you'd find it helpful.
Don't let the negative people get to you! You are awesome and your work is such a huge help to so many.
This is a good time to tell you that WritersWeekly.com has, in a matter of Months, directed me to many thousands of dollars in new work and prompted a revised modus operandi that is really working for me.
Best wishes for the new year,
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