Thursday, October 11, 2007

"The R Word"

It brings so many different feelings to the table, yet so many people insist on being "the R word."

For example, here's a list of a few emotions that result when in the midst of "the R word:"

  1. Frustration
  2. Hurt feelings
  3. Anger
  4. Rage
  5. Hard feelings
  6. Stress
  7. Headaches
  8. Miscommunication
  9. Resentment
  10. Lost friendship(s)
  11. Lost freelance writing opportunities
  12. Editors that have no desire to work with you
  13. A bad reputation

Ok, I know you're dying to know what "the R word" is.... It ... is... (drum roll)....


I trotted across the cyber highway to the free dictionary, and here's what "the R word" actually means:

  • lacking in refinement or grace
  • lacking civility or good manners
Which reminded me of an article Amy Derby had published in Writing for Dollars newsletter a while back--Manners Matter for Freelance Writers. In this article, Amy shares her feelings and opinions and even reactions to how she handles RUDE freelance writer's submissions. It's amazing the audacity writers have had in their first emails to her!

Please tell me you would never approach an editor with a haughty attitude, like you're the best writer in the world that doesn't have time to wait a few weeks (like the rest of us) for a reply from a busy editor.

It just seems everywhere we look, listen, or turn these days, rudeness is overwhelming. From road rage, to men knocking women silly as they shove past them in their attempt to barge through the door first, its like chivalry is forever lost. Where are the courteous gentlemen anyways?

Honestly, I was clueless as to what I was going to write about for Writing the Cyber Highway readers. A friend of mine actually inspired this post.

I shared my "blank page frustrations" with her today via email. I also shared a few other things, especially about an event that happened yesterday where the person just showed NO common courtesy, whatsoever.

In her reply, my friend spilled the beans about a few of her experiences with rude customers. She runs a family business, and often receives phone calls getting all the blame for things the customers themselves have failed to do or take note of.

She suggested I discuss rude things that have happened to me, that I'd never myself do--like making someone wait all day and never showing up!

Blogger/Writer friends, I do hope you don't present yourself (online or off) in a rude manner. What does it accomplish?

There are writers that have missed the awesome opportunity to work with Amy Derby, simply because they forgot their manners, for whatever reason.

Friendships are ruined, feelings are hurt, and bad first impressions (which can never be recreated) are etched in stone.

I just personally think that "the R word" should never raise its ugly head, especially when approaching an editor, or anyone, for the first time.

Even after you've known someone for a long while, you don't have to be rude. EVEN if they are rude to us, EVEN if they mistreat us, we don't have to "stoop" to that level and join them, right?

I truly believe with all my heart one of the biggest reasons I'm finding more and more writing success, is the fact that I'm nice. I've even had editors reply in an email that I'm the nicest person they've "talked to" all day!

Kindness, courtesy, respect, genuine concern, sweetness, and patience goes a long way, you all. I think employers, editors, publishers, and mankind in general, are starving for a wholesome, considerate person to pass through their day. Make a great first impression, and you may just hang around to become a full-time writer!

Stand tall, smile, dig deep, and find the goodness that surely lays within each of our hearts, and run from "the R word" as you write the cyber highway (with extra kindness and a smile!)....