It’s A Small World After All, So Shut The Fuck Up Already

If I ‘ve told you once, I‘ve told you a thousand times; whatever you do, do not burn a bridge. Plant on a smiley face, be as diplomatic as you must, stamp down your true feelings, but don’t cut anybody down to size or bad mouth anybody to anybody else. If you don’t want to work with someone ever again, then just don’t work with them. Stay off Twitter or Facebook if your only goal is to spread ill feelings—your missives and mockings are sure to be heard as much, or even more so, than your praise.

As Patrick Swayze’s “Dalton” instructs the amateur bouncers under his care in the not-so-subtle homoerotic movie, Road House, “Be nice.” So, be nice.

Road House / Silver Pictures

Let me give you a recent example from my professional naughty writing life why I say this…

I sent out a query to a publisher this week. In my experience, this was a new house. I knew of one of the imports that they had just bought, someone who had published a few stories of mine over a decade ago, and this is how I got hip to this. Again for me, new publisher. Reading over their updated guidelines (Something else I would strongly advise doing, sending an editor or publisher what they indicate they need from guidelines that might have been published a year ago could find you submitting stale stories.) I came to the conclusion that this house might just be perfect for a short story collection I had been trying to place.

Related: Saying “NEXT”: When Fired From A Sex Writing Job…

Lo and behold: when I received a quick email back from the acquisitions editor (I found out she was the CEO of the house as well), she told me she had not only heard of me (which certainly made me feel good) but that we had met.

I don’t recall meeting the lady, although when I searched pictures of her online, she did look familiar. But imagine if, somewhere along the line, I had slagged her off, been impolite, or had been a major headcase to the person whose imprint she had bought. I am not a headcase, and I am always nice, but here’s a perfect example of your ‘tude traveling far because, really, the sex writing world is a small one after all.

I have no idea of the down and dirty specifics of other businesses. But I have interviewed enough folks for the ghostwriting jobs that I do, folks working in other industries than the adult world, to know that they too advise the “no bridge-burning ethos.” In this day and age, where we have the infinite facility to get our opinion out there, as quickly as we like, I caution a little common sense, a little grown-up considering and say: “Just cause you can Postie, don’t mean you should.”

Image by Yaroslav Shuraev

Whatever your opinion about Tom, Dick or Mary, that magazine you once wrote for, that editor that almost drove you to drink, I’d say keep it yourself. If you want to share ’em, do so with your nearest and dearest. I shoot the proverbial shit with only one other writer and good friend who, like me, keeps his mouth shut. We get to jawing about the smut writing business and caution each other with what we learn on our own, but we never “tell tales out of school,” keeping our business our business.

Related: The Question Of The Non-De Plume For The Erotic Writer

Go forth and do what you will the way you will. I can’t stop you. But if you take one thing from any of my writing columns here (beyond the fact that I am a sexy, well-hung, incredibly talented sage of writing advice), please realize that there are times when you are served best just shutting the fuck up.


Featured image by Andrea Pacquiado



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here