I had a situation, just yesterday. In another publication the editors were begging, even scolding the writers and readers there to interact more: read more often, clap and mostly engage with and respond more often. And one of the editors made a specific point to not respond with constant “smiley faces”. To engage in real, honest conversation with the authors about their writing.

Now, you know me, I’d already been doing this. So, I went ahead and dug deeper. I found someone whose work I thought highly of and engaged with her as I would, not so much as a “mentor,” but as I would in a workshop. Just starting a conversation after delivering some well-deserved praise and asking her permission to comment. (Saying “if you don't want to hear this, stop reading NOW.”)

A few hours later I get this in response: “Seriously, dude?” That’s it, then she removed the thread.

One of the reasons I am so behind in EVERYTHING is that I spend half my day engaging with people, talking about their work and how to improve it. Or simply reading over it for them to make certain it’s okay to publish, correcting little mistakes here and there. Or simply READING it so that they get some attention. Then I get “seriously, dude” slapped in my face just for trying.

If you want to be a saint, you can go out of your way and keep trying. Some people will accept your desire to engage with them. Others will not. It’s entirely arbitrary based upon their mood (I certainly do know about moods) and their personal neuroses (and I do know quite a bit about those, too). But if you have work to do, get it done first. Your “saintly duties” will end up being very time-consuming and too often a waste. (Which, by no means, is a reference to dear, old Foxy Roxy...and I am quite thankful I didn't get a "seriously, dude?" from you...).

Possessor of Paul Newman eyes. Author of the straightforward & strange. “Women zai shuo ba.” Be useful; share what you can; help others always. Doctor of texts.

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