On not being a dick

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I’m not saying I’m special—because I’m far from it. But I’ve had a pretty cool writing career, which means lots of young journalists through the years have e-mailed, Tweeted questions and clips and such. I always try and respond, because I remember coming up through the ranks and having guys like Mike Freeman and Steve Buckley take time to advise and lead and guide. I’m sure I annoyed them to death. But they were patient.

Anyhow, I really do try. I do. And if people ask to write guests posts for my blog, I almost always go for it. Again, I remember being 20 … 21 … 22 … 23, and looking at established writers with wide eyes and a bit of intimidation. I’m not saying anyone should look at me with wide eyes and a bit of intimidation. I’m just saying … yeah. I get it.

Hence, it tore me up last night when I received this message from a young college writer and Facebook friend (whose name I’ll exclude) …

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 11.13.27 AMUgh.

Really, what’s there to say but … ugh. I fucked up. And I know exactly how this guy feels, because I remember reaching out to my favorite writers and hearing … crickets. It’s actually one of the main complaints I get from college-aged scribes these days: “I wrote to [X] and he never even acknowledged me.” It’s the last thing I want someone to say/think about me. And, well, someone has said/thought this about me.

So … what to do? I wrote a long, apologetic e-mail, asked if he’d still take a signed book and fired this off in the mail …

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