We All Have Issues
(I apologize for the tardiness of this post. Time got away from me and it was Tuesday before I knew it. See how I own up to my mistake/issue there? It's relevant to this post.)
Yet still, nearly every week, some writer commits career suicide by inserting their head up their ass.
I will not deign to link to the Speshul Snoflake of the Week. This lovely writer was all over Twitter with his "open letter" to a publishing CEO. He apologizes many times for dragging everyone associated with him through the mud – his agent, his editor, and so on – but reading his rant (because that's what it is, really; a big long whiny-assed rant about how everyone is so meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeean and why won't they liiiiiiiiiiiiisten to him because he's so brilliant and they're so archaic and no one responds to his every wish and desire or respects his time or treats him like he thinks he deserves to be treated, he just wants a little respect, is that so hard to give, and his mental health issues excuse his behavior), I just want to smack him.
This writer was fortunate enough to have obtained an agent and a publishing contract with a sizeable advance for a debut author. Then he goes and pulls this shit?
Look, I don't care what kind of issues you have, mental OR physical. You signed up for this. You signed a fucking contract that says, "I will do this." You should have taken whatever issues you have into account BEFORE you signed that contract. Contracts, as I understand, are legally binding agreements, and if you renege on your half of it, the other party can take it out of your ass. This is why you should always READ AND UNDERSTAND YOUR CONTRACTS.
But legality aside, let's get back to the professionalism aspect. As said above, I don't give a flying fuck what your issues are, mental or physical. We all have them (and to anyone thinking they want to get in my face about "well you don't understand, you don't have ____", I will stab you in the eye with a knitting needle. You don't know me or what issues I may deal with, because I DON'T FUCKING WHINE ABOUT THEM and demand everyone make exceptions for me because of them. I cope and carry on. You know…like a professional….).
Get that? WE. ALL. HAVE. ISSUES.
Every single one of us. Your issues do NOT give you the right to inflict your shit on other people. Douchebag McRantypants I was talking about up there? He claims to have some bipolar-type mental health issue that makes him a special exception to the standards of professional behavior.
Um, yeah, hi. How about "NO?" Does "no" work for you? Because it does for me. Besides, that's a lame play. I know a lot of writers with mental health issues and they have techniques and skills and things they use to COPE with their issues. Like professionals. What this guy is basically saying is, "I know I have this issue and therefore I'm entitled to be a dick and you have to put up with that."
Ummmm, no. No, actually, I don't. And if you want to get all legal and technical about it, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) specifically states that unless you state UP FRONT when being interviewed or considered for a position that you have a special issue you need taken into consideration, you don't get to ask for any special accommodations after you're hired.
So right there, people. Right fucking there. If you have issues that you know about and want to have your boss take that into consideration when hiring you/make arrangements for you because of it when you DIDN'T BOTHER TO TELL HIM YOU HAD THIS ISSUE, you're out of fucking luck. Understand?
If you know you have an issue, you tell your agent, your editor, your publisher, up front, so they can accommodate you. And for the love of all that's unholy, if something comes up, you're frustrated, have questions, whatever, LET YOUR AGENT HANDLE IT. If your agent IS the issue, find a new one. I know that's a lot of work, but writers do it every day.
What I'm really trying to say here is that writing is a job, just like any other. It's work we get paid for. Just because we happen to love what we do doesn't mean the standard of professional behavior gets tossed out the window. Just because you can go to work in your pajamas if you want doesn't mean you can be an asshole to your colleagues because you are an ARTEEEST and they need to just accept and cope with your eccentricities.
That's right. They're your colleagues. Publishers, editors, cover artists, agents…you WORK with these people. If you don't like the people you work with, quit your job and find another. You DON'T go into the workplace, tell everyone how much they suck, take a shit on your boss' desk, destroy everything in sight remotely connected to your job then flip everyone off on your way out the door, then excuse yourself by saying you have a mental health issue and demand to be understood and forgiven for acting out, then say "Call me!"
No one is going to want to work with you ever again.
I realize professional writing isn't what so many people expect it to be. They forget that publishing is a business. Because they forget that, they think it's all right to act like assholes and demand things that they have no right to.
Respect is EARNED. Trust is EARNED. These things aren't given. If you don't behave professionally, you're never going to earn either of those things, from your peers or your colleagues.
Or as my Daddy used to say, "Don't shit in your drinking water." Don't bite the hand that feeds you. You get the idea. If you want total control over everything, go self-publish because this isn't the business for you. That's right. It's a business. Never forget that.
If you wouldn't do it in someone else's office, don't do it from your home office. It's that simple.
Unless, of course, you're a douchebag. Then I recommend a therapist and possibly some meds (which only help if you take them – just sayin').