Saturday, November 24, 2007

Good People, Bad Business

Things on the writing front aren't always as wonderful as they may seem, if it ever seems wonderful to you out there. Sure, I get to sit around in my housecoat looking at the Internet all day and call it research, but that doesn't mean I don't have other shit to do too...

Believe it or not, I don't sit around the house waiting for the people I am working with to call. I'm more of a schedule guy, so if we don't have plans in advance, I'm out, especially when I remain underemployed at Blockbuster with only two days off a week. Time is precious and I'm not at anyone's beck and call... except maybe Sarah's.

So this rant really goes in two different directions.

The first is that if you want to work on something, you have to be willing to put in the time. Deciding the day of that you want to get together just doesn't cut it. Like I said, I'm a schedule type of dude. If I don't hear from you by Friday, don't expect me to be available on Saturday, that's just how it goes.

As much as this is my passion and what I want to do, it is also a business for me and time is therefore a very valuable commodity, especially when the work is pro bono. Not that I expect everyone to shell out for my mediocre services, but understand that the time I spend working on one project takes away from the time available for others. Since the others are the paying gigs, there needs to be a great amount of commitment and dedication to the project.

Yes, we all have lives full of things that are far more important than sitting down and writing, but if it's something you want to do and every time we talk you want to discuss the urgency of getting it done, call me mid-week and make concrete plans. That is the only way the work will ever get done.

Avenue Two is home to two men for me - former Toronto Raptor and current Houston Rocket Mike James and ESPN Senior Baseball Writer Jayson Stark. I know - look at me name!

Anyhow, their stories are very similar. Both are people that at one point or another I got in touch with about conducting an interview and both were quick to say yes and excited about the prospects.

Basically, after agreeing initially, I put in work on coming up with questions, prepping the pieces and getting set to do the actual interview. And then nothing.

A week goes by... nothing.

Another week... nothing, so I send a "Just Checking In" email.

Still nothing.

Eventually, Mike James' agent, whom I had been dealing with all along, just stopped taking my phone calls. Jayson Stark hasn't even been that courteous.

Now both are probably outstanding human beings and I know that they are busy men with busy lives and I'm just some hack with a keyboard in BF, Idaho who wants to interview them, but c'mon:


That's all it takes. 37 seconds at a keyboard to tell me that the questions sucked, were too long, you're too busy or you never wanted to do it in the first place and things would be fine. I honestly wouldn't have any problem with that; I too have lots on my plate and no time for interviews... just do things the right way.

Tip your waiter, sign every autograph you can and get back to people if you say you're going to do something with them. It shows class and professionalism and it goes for the Senior Baseball guy at The World Wide Leader and the Shoot-First Point Guard of the Houston Rockets as much as it does for the guy who is just starting out.

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