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File under: Don’t ever do this as a writer.

Text: Julie Schwietert Collazo
Photo: Zach Inglis
**
There is a reason you should never check your email before you have your first coffee.

Don't read email before you have your coffee. Don't send emails asking for information you haven't proved you deserve.

Don’t read email before you have your coffee. Don’t send emails asking for information you haven’t proved you deserve.

This morning, I woke to a message in my inbox from a writer I don’t know. She didn’t “introduce” herself (as in: “Hi, Julie, I’m _____ ____ and I’m a writer based in ______ who writes about _______. I found out about you through _________ and I’m writing because _________.”), but cut straight to the chase:

“I was commissioned to write a story about PR – any ideas or leads would be so appreciated!”

“PR” is Puerto Rico. I lived there for two and a half years and because I write about it often, I return there frequently.

This was, in fact, the second message I’d received from this writer. Last week she emailed to ask if I had any tourism board contacts on the island. In that message she said that she got my contact information from “Diana” (I know at least 4 Dianas, so I’m not sure which one she’s referencing, since she didn’t use a last name). She didn’t say why she wanted the information… much less persuade me why I should share it with her if I even had it (I don’t).

Writers, please don’t ever do this.

I’m extremely generous with leads, contacts, and ideas… if I know you, if I respect your work, and if I trust that sharing these won’t harm my own reputation. But if you’re effectively cold-calling me to do the work that YOU should be doing and you can’t even introduce yourself properly, don’t expect assistance.

In fact, don’t expect a reply.

I’m going to go have my coffee now.

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6 responses »

  1. Can first, to clarify the situation, I mean I ordered coffee (right?) Of man you do not know and now I have to answer for thes.You do you like coffee, what coffee you drink, with or without sugar, where drink it, with whom you drink, you drink coffee at all, how cigarette, cigar, or drink it at all what we mean, can I know?

    Reply
  2. Can first, to clarify the situation, I mean I ordered coffee (right?) Of man you do not know and now I have to answer for thes.You do you like coffee, what coffee you drink, with or without sugar, where drink it, with whom you drink, you drink coffee at all, how cigarette, cigar, or drink it at all what we mean, can I know?

    Reply
  3. There are many things one should not do before their morning cup of coffee (or tea) and email is absolutely high on that list.

    Its as if this writer arrived in a small town and just started stomping about rearranging things like they owned the place with no regard for the community or how it functions. The Writing Community, whilst global and not really a small town at all should still not be trampled through as though being a fellow writer gives you some kind of automatic entitlement to other writer’s information.

    Reply
    • What do you want to tell me sabudih and a peasant I wrote, “Hi Judy, without ideas, without writing who, what, etc.., Straight coffee! Da Well you and jackanapes you from Bulk are you not know you have a cultural manners, you know, if you will, would you like to drink a cup of coffee? and he said, no one knows the right coffee intruder such forward se.Dobar nice day ‘s name is Athanasius today is so wonderful that we meet you, how is your mood, how you feel right now, talking to you, would you like to talk, etc. …..

      Reply
    • I do not find reason to throw away a vas.A terms of who from where has come and what fight-mind your own business!

      Reply

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