Sunday, December 6, 2009

PM Response Policy

Dear Reader,

Thank you for sending me the PM about one of my stories. I appreciate all substantive and polite feedback, positive or negative, and ffn has provided a service to facilitate that called the reader review process. I see in your PM you have questions for me, but you haven't availed yourself of the review process on my stories, ... yet you say you've read my stories from chapter one? And if you haven't, then I'm afraid that the most recent chapter doesn't make all that much sense out of context.

So, here's the thing. I've found that out-of-the-blue PMs about my works usually devolve (eventually) into one thing or another, and I'm tired of me or my work being savaged. I have other things to do, like write the next chapter, or respond to reviews or PMs from my reviewers. You wish to have a conversation with me? I wish the same, but now I can only afford to have conversations with people I know and I trust, so that if we do get into an argument, we have a track record of recovery so that we can both walk away still respecting each other.

We don't have that relationship yet? Then I recommend that you establish then build upon it. Leave me your substantive reviews of the chapters you loved or hated. Show me why and tell me why. I reply to every substantive or polite (or, preferably, both) review I receive. From that position of trust, THEN we can have a conversation about whatever we desire, eh?

But until that time? I will send you my one-liner response: "Thank you for your PM. Please see my PM response policy located on my profile page." It's not personal against you, it's just that your PM is the next pitch, and I already have two strikes against me: if I'm going to be swinging, I want to know that it will do something for the team. I want to get on base; I want that grand slam. So throw the ball hard, yes, but in the strike zone, please.

"But I don't have time to review your story that I just read all 300 pages of I just wanna know ..."

Hm. Ayn Rand has an interesting way of categorizing people: producers and users. Which are you? And, if you are fine being a user, if you just wish to use me, then I recommend you not waste your time PMing me, but curl up and enjoy reading your Being and Nothingness because your time will be more fruitfully employed there. After all, Sartre did eventually return to the Church, receiving Absolution and Last Rites on his death bed, maybe that course of study will help you to see beyond yourself, too?

But if you're fine being a user, I'm not fine being used. I have limited time and a very delicate ego, so I wish to spend that time productively, that is, writing the next chapter or responding to reviews or reviewers' PMs, and I wish to open myself up to people who will hurt me, yes, but do so because they care, and will work on mending the relationship afterward.

Thank you, again, for your PM. I may have read it, I may not. I will be happy to respond to it, however, after you have left substantive reviews. It's nothing personal, until it is: I respond to PMs of people I have a personal relationship with.

Build that first, then we'll chat.

cheers, geophf

1 comment:

Master of the Boot said...

Yes, I'm familiar with delicate egos. I live in a world that's full of them. Peopel who that if you told them what you were really thinking, it'd kill their ego like multiple stab wounds to the back of the head.

Thankfully we have friends and family, with whom we can afford to be a bit more honest.

I get what you're saying perfectly about the conversations and review replies. You and I haven't had the easiest history on that subject.