I don’t care how close to me that you are. I don’t care if you are my mother, my grandmother, my siblings, my cousins, my bestest of the bestest friend, or my third cousin’s brother’s half-sister’s stepdaughter’s college roommate.
My day job is NOT as a writer. I still work a full time job, a couple of part time jobs, plus the writing.
It is wildly inappropriate to show up at my day job and expect me to drop everything to give you advice on how to get your book published.
I have a website. My email is on the website. In fact, just to be clear, I’ll list it here again…
addiejking AT gmail.com (insert @ character in appropriate place…trying not to encourage spam. We all get enough of that).
My email gets checked multiple times during the day; on breaks, at lunch, after work, and before and after I go to bed at night. I’m always available to give advice if someone contacts me in that way, but it might take a few days, depending on my schedule, the Husband’s schedule, and The Boy’s schedule. They come first,always.
My co-workers should not have to deal with this. They have plenty of other things that need to get done every day, and they are not paid to handle this kind of request. Luckily, they did not have a huge line of people at the time that this person came in.
If you are close enough to me to 1) know where I work, 2) know what I do, and 3) think I’d drop everything during the day to talk to you, then you ALSO know that I’m not a writer from 8-4 pm; I’m working the day job.
Look, guys, I love to talk writing. I really really do. I’m happy to give advice; heck I spend tons of time doing so at conferences, in emails, at writer’s workshops, etc. I LIKE helping writers…lots of them have helped me.
I mentioned on a panel at Origins that it was okay to ask a writer if they had time to read stuff from an aspiring writer. I stand by that advice. I also declined when someone in the audience asked me to do so, because my schedule does not currently permit it, but I encouraged them to keep asking. Six months from now? Who knows. And someone else might have a schedule that fits earlier than I do. I know lots and lots of writers who have taken someone under their wing. Someone did that with me. I will likely do so myself. It just isn’t going to happen at the moment.
Let me be clear…the person who asked at Origins was NOT the person who showed up at my day job.
It’s okay to ask. It’s NOT okay to show up at their day job and want to talk about publishing. Period. (Please everyone, keep in mind, that most everyone out there has rules about discussing outside work on company time. If you get a writer disciplined from their day job, or even fired, they will not be happy to give you advice.)