Business Musings: Stupidity Fatigue
I’ve written five openings to this blog today. I want to write a completely different blog—and I will. In fact, I’ll write five completely different blogs, but I can’t publish them for several months. If I publish them now, then the people I’m referring to will know I’m referring to them, and that would be bad.
Several months from now, I will have accumulated even more experiences to go with the experiences I’ve had this past month, and everything identifiable will fade into the noise.
But all of this crap I’ve been dealing with has pissed me off. Much of what I’m dealing with is writers who are creating problems for themselves in the future. Not indie writers—although I encountered one of those this week too—but traditionally published writers. Writers who will, one day, wake up and wonder why in the hell that happened to them.
I could tell them why. It’s obvious to anyone with half a brain. C follows B follows A. It’s pretty damn simple.
You’ll see all of this stuff, properly shaded to protect the areyoufuckingkiddingme folks. You just won’t see it for a while.
But all of this stuff—and several more things—have left me with stupidity fatigue. Instead of responding kindly and with advice to some of the emails I’m getting and the comments people make to my face, I’m deleting the emails or walking away from the commenter.
I’m not your mom (or your grandmother). I don’t have to listen to you. I don’t have to watch as you ignore all the signs that say Beware! as you drive your car off a cliff.
I tried to write a different blog. I really did. Something filled with good advice. Some little tidbit of information I’ve gleaned this week (and frankly, I gleaned a lot of tidbits).
But I’m surly. And I have a lot of pent-up fury about some things that happened, and I’m not feeling very advice-y or even very kind.
So I’m going to drain off some of that energy.
None of the things that follow are the things I mentioned above. Only one or two of the things that follow even happened in the past month. And most of this probably doesn’t apply to most of you.
If it does apply to you, be suitably embarrassed and don’t do the damn thing again. At least around me. And for god’s sake, don’t apologize to me. Because I don’t want to hear it. Let’s forget this little incident even happened.
Okay. Here goes:
- I don’t publish guest blogs on kristinekathrynrusch.com.
Not now, not ever, never going to. If you write me an email—through the damn comment form (which means you were on my site for at least a nanosecond)—and say, “I love your website. I read it all the time, and never miss a post. I have xx credentials and feel I can add to your blog’s quality…” realize:
- It’s pretty obvious that you’ve never read my website because I DON’T PUBLISH GUEST BLOGS HERE and never have, so…
- You don’t love my website. You just know that it has visibility as a blog that you want to harness for your own marketing purposes, which I am not going to help you with because…
- You just insulted me, you dweeble. You can add to the blog’s “quality”? Because, as a lone-voice blogger, I’m doing such a piss-poor job of it?
Here’s a tip, aspiring blogger. If this query is an example of your writing style (and it is), then you’re the last person I would ever ask to write a guest blog if I ever published guest blogs on this website, which I do not.
- I do not exist to validate your decisions.
If you want a piece of advice from me about your business career, then contact me before you make the deal or negotiate the contract or hire the agent or price your book. If you want me to weigh in on your decisions, then contact me before you make them.
If you made the decision last week, and you want me to weigh in now, it’s pretty damn clear you don’t want advice. You want me to reinforce how brilliant you are. You want me to pat you on the head and say, Wow, that was a wonderful thing you just did.
I’m not wired that way. If, in my not-so-humble opinion, I think you made a crapass decision, I’ll tell you that. Or I would have a few years ago. Now, I’ll delete your stupid e-mail or nod politely and walk away. I probably won’t answer any of your business emails in the future either, because you have just proven you are not worth one second of my precious time.
- If you want help getting out of a bad contract or a deal signed long ago, I will help you if I can. Generally, all I do is recommend you hire a lawyer. So, to save us both time and a lot of headache…go hire a lawyer before you ever e-mail me.
Not an agent. A lawyer. An agent probably got you into this mess. Agents often practice law without a license, which is illegal. Agents charge 15% for the life of the copyright for doing so.
Lawyers charge by the hour and the first consult is generally free. Lawyers are licensed and regulated. If you don’t like the lawyer, you can fire him. If you don’t like the agent and you signed a stupid agency agreement without consulting a lawyer, your shit-ass agent will still get 15% of your money for the life of the copyright.
Lawyers are a bargain. Agents are not.
You don’t know how to find a lawyer? Laura Resnick has already done the vetting for you. Click here for her list.
And if you still need help figuring out why you should have a lawyer in this instance and not an agent, Laura has very kindly written a FAQ to tell you why. Much more politely than I would.
- So you’re writing a book for your agent, and you’ve told me this why? So I can talk you out of it? So I’m impressed that your Big Name Agent has bamboozled you into writing for free?
Why am I unimpressed? Because…(wait for it)…agents don’t buy books. Agents don’t even sell books most of the time. Agents are your employee.
You should be writing your book for readers. You can get readers by indie publishing or by selling your book to a traditional publisher.
You get readers by writing a damn good book.
You can’t write a damn good book by committee.
Think of it this way: If an agent could write a good book, why in god’s name is that person taking 15% of your work?
I could easily agent. In fact, a number of you have asked me to represent you. It wouldn’t be hard for me to do since literary agents aren’t licensed. All I have to do is hang out a shingle.
But I’ve done the math. I can make more money as a writer than I would as an agent taking 15% of most writers’ earnings. Certainly more than I’d make from 15% of your earnings.
I know how to write a good book. Agents don’t.
So…Why the hell are you writing for your agent??????
- For some reason, you feel the need to tell me that you’re a traditionally published writer who put up one of your backlist novels on Amazon in 2010. You used a word doc, had your dentist’s daughter design the cover (she’s the only artist you know personally), and you’ve never upgraded the file. That book doesn’t sell well. In fact, in the last two years, it’s gotten the worst reviews of your career. Those reviews hurt your feelings. And this is why you’re sticking to traditional publishing.
Good for you, honey. Glad you proved to yourself that this self-publishing thing is a bust. Glad you gave it the good old college try.
I really do have stupidity fatigue. Because I’ve gone from sarcasm to shouting to a heartfelt angry “Jesus” to my own personal version of bless your heart in less than 1500 words.
When I realized I had done that, I laughed out loud, which means the fury isn’t pent up any more, and I’m a lot less surly.
I’m moving on to writing other things now, including one of the five aforementioned blogs.
You can go on doing whatever it is you do. If it’s any of the five things above, please don’t tell me about it. Bother some other writers. Maybe one of them will pat you on the head and tell you how brilliant you are.
Because I certainly won’t.
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“Business Musings: Stupidity Fatigue” copyright © 2015 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Image at the top of the blog copyright © Can Stock Photo Inc. / sveter