So this post comes from a real life moment I experienced yesterday, but after mulling over it for a long (long) time, it stuck out as something that can easily be applied to the writing world. And the world in general. And it's pretty simple:
If you want to make valuable connections with others, have some freaking consideration.
Guess what? If you ask somebody for a favor, or there's some kind of group effort that needs to happen, there's a very important thing to understand: they have lives that do not revolve around you. So if you have a deadline, or if their deadline relies on you meeting your own deadline, etc? Get your shit done.
I'm not much of a curse-person on the inter-webs, but this is something that seriously pisses me off. A common piece of advice from the writing world that I've re-tweeted on the Twitter-sphere countless times: all of those agents, editors, etc? They don't owe you anything.
And neither do your peers. Particularly if these are peers you don't know well and you might need to make an impression on. Get your shit done neatly and promptly. If you know you're going to be a bit late, let them know. Send them a courtesy email/phone call so they're not sitting at their laptop twiddling their thumbs (as their frustration builds) while you ignore the work that you need to send them.
Maybe you have a good excuse, but that's a whole 'nother story.
Just don't-and I mean DO NOT-send your work to your peer/mentor/critique partner/etc only an hour or two before they need to have their work on it done, and expect things to be okay. It's disrespectful and inconsiderate, and if you show that kind of attitude and habit on the lower level (peers and critique partners), it won't fly, and it sure as hell won't get you anywhere when you try to get to the big dogs (agents, editors, publishers).
But guess what? If you're considerate, get things done on time (or even, *gasp* early), you're going to get a lot of brownie points, which means that people are more likely to want to work with you a second or even third time.
This recent problem had me banging my head against a metaphoric wall yesterday. And had me considering that life as a turtle would be better than life as a human. Then I realized that turtles can't write (at least I don't think they can). Ultimately, the people I was assigned to work with in my workshop class proved to me their incompetency, and now I seriously will not do a single thing for them unless it directly impacts my grades.
Then I went for a run to work off steam from dealing with a car problem. and I felt a little better. And I won't tell ya'll the complete sob story unless somebody seriously cannot live without it, but to put it short: the part of my day that dealt with inconsiderate classmates? Made me want to punch people.
But seriously: consideration for others. Pass it on, yo, and don't make them want to punch people.
The day after the longest day of her life, blogger @Rae_Slater recommends a little consideration for your writing peers (Click to Tweet)
How Not to Make Peers Want to Punch People, a recipe with only one ingredient via @Rae_Slater (Click to Tweet)