This really resonates with me. I’ve run into people who exemplify this in a good way and other who do not.
Sadly, in the writing business, it seems to lean toward the negative. I saw it occasionally when I was traditionally published, but I realize now that my Big Five publisher served as a kind of buffer; once I took a step out on my own into self-publishing (partly by necessity, partly by choice), that little cushion of professional courtesy vanished.
Lately I have run into some who are in the camp of “having everything” figuratively (whether fellow authors, publishers, reviewers, book sellers, and larger review sites etc) who often do not handle themselves well in this regard. I’ve noticed it in the past few months when I’ve reached out with a request or a submission of my newest book for possible review.
I’m not talking about the need for time-intensive interaction, but rather just simple gestures such as a 30 second email acknowledging a query or receipt of the $14 autographed book with professional cover letter I mailed to those with open submission policies (I did my research!) – even if the answer is a “no thank you”. A polite reply declining what I’ve queried about is far preferable than resounding silence that drags on, leaving me wondering what, if anything, will happen.
I continue to remain very patient in my relative obscurity…however, I hope I will handle myself better when (not if…when) I attain a level of greater notoriety.
Fortunately, I have encountered several authors, bloggers, and reviewers who have been courteous and gracious, whether or not they felt willing or able to meet any request I made. Those few will serve as my own role models in the future.
Professional courtesy seems to be going out of style. Life is indeed busy and packed full for most of us, but to me, good manners, even in a professional sense, are the lubrication that makes the grinding gears of life grind us down far less.
What do you think about this? Does anyone here have similar experiences (or a different take on the matter)?
2 thoughts on “How Do You Act When…?”
Spot on Mary! I love the quote as well. Hard not to get down. But I keep on, hoping that someday, someone will remember the courtesy!
I think the manners come hand in hand with a sense of humility. My understanding of humility is NOT thinking less of yourself, it’s just thinking of yourself less. So, there we have it, a rat race of people with the survivalist attitude that they first have to look out for themselves. The manners are the accessory of being human that some choose to forgo. I don’t encounter it much with patients at work – sometimes with family that I go the extra mile for, yes.
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