This is the third in a series of three guest posts on the negative people to watch out for in your writing life. This post originally appeared on the WOW! Women On Writing blog, The Muffin, on July 22.
By Guest Blogger Margo Dill
Type 3: The Breaker of Promises
This person is someone who promises (over and over again) to do something: give you a review, critique your work, show up at your events, share your book on social media, etc., in exchange for you doing something for them also (such as critiquing each other’s work or reviewing each other’s books). Now, we are all busy, and I have been guilty of taking on too much and being very forgetful; but if someone is doing something for me (critiquing my novel, showing up at my book events, taking my classes), then I make it a priority to return the favor and/or write a heartfelt email of why I can’t. (Sometimes, being a single mom creates barriers beyond my control, but then I really try not to make promises I can’t keep—still a learning process.)
The worst breaker of promises is in the following example. Let’s say, you exchange books with another writer to write reviews for each other (after reading them—real, honest reviews), and you do yours in a timely manner. You wait a good amount of time, because you understand that life is busy, and inquire nicely if the person has had a chance to read your book yet, and you get an answer like: Well, I’m busy.
Well, WHO ISN’T?
There’s really nothing you can do about these types of situations except the following: don’t trust him or her again! “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” or “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
A More Positive View
Now I have to end on a positive note. I am a glass half-full kind of gal. There are so many incredibly wonderful, amazing, generous, thoughtful, professional writers, editors, reviewers, bloggers, and readers out in the world whom you will meet. But this writing path you chose is not easy; and if you feel like someone in your writing career is toxic or hurting you or making you doubt yourself, they probably are. If he or she is a friend, try talking to this person first and see if you can work something out. If not, just wish the writer well and move on. If you are looking for some warm people, look no further. WOW! is full of them.
Note from Kathryn: The experience I’ve had with this type is asking a former friend who happened to be an expert in English and editing to help polish Hollywood and Catholic Women and I was happy to pay. This individual was a promise breaker because they are incredibly lazy and even the promise of payment made no difference. What I learned from this was never ask a friend to assist in polishing your manuscript.
Margo L. Dill is a writing coach and WOW! instructor, as well as a writer and freelance editor. You can enroll in her novel writing coach that starts the first Friday of every month by going here. She is also offering a marketing class starting in fall 2018. Find out more about Margo at margoldill.com.