Friday, October 08, 2010

Ask Mr. Writer

Today, I got two more queries from newbie writers looking for writing lessons. Over the years, I have answered variations of the same thing scores, maybe hundreds of times. They aren't stupid questions, they come from simple ignorance. On one level, it's a good exercise in patience ... however ...

However, it occurred to me that if I am going to spend my ever-decreasing time doing this, I should somehow limit it. Usually, I refer the questioners to my e-book, No Man But a Blockhead, since it's got writing biz stories in it, but also some how-to that amounts to an FAQ.

Mostly, they don't buy the book.

Why should they,  if I am willing to answer the questions free in an email?

So, I had a thought. A new service. I'll put up a PayPal button here: Got a how-to-write question? Ask the old pro -- ONE QUESTION that can be put into PayPal's delivery instructions panel, $5. Answer given as soon as time permits, no guarantees ...

Then when I get one of those queries, I can just point them there. And if it's one I've heard a thousand times, I can paste in the answer. If somebody is serious enough to plunk down five bucks for an answer, that might filter some who are just looking for a gig writing Star Wars, and how can they get that job?

Not like I'd be charging for autographs or anything. 

This would make my book much better deal, when you think about it.

I don't mean to be cruel to the newbies, and I do feel that I have a certain responsibility to help  the serious ones along when I can, but at some point, I realized that the passing parade wasn't going to stop, but that I won't be here to speak to it forever ...


Justin said...

I apologize if I've taken advantage of your experience and your kindness, Steve.

I will chill out on the questions, and rely more on my instincts to lead me down the path that's right for me and my story.

Steve Perry said...

Nah, you're cool -- I invited you to the party.

Guro said...

I think you are wise to do so.
You offer so very much to the readers of your blog, and I know that I certainly appreciate ALL your efforts.

For sure your time is valuable, and I think it is a great thing you share with others.

More power to you!!