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Respect 7 March 2010

Posted by The Inimitable M in Life.

I don’t recall this problem with my prior life self-employed, but respect seems to be an issue these days.  I wasn’t quite sure how to handle it.  After turning off the phone this weekend, however, I knew it was time to bring it up.

I have respect for others’ privacy and lives.  I am aware they have jobs and responsibilities, whether or not they work for someone else. 

I expect that same respect.  I demand it, if you want to use that terminology, not just for me, but for everyone affiliated with Canonbridge.

To give you an example of the extent to which this has gotten out of hand, I spent more than 14 hours on the phone last week in unscheduled non-specific phone calls that lasted anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, spread out through the day.  At night, I counted another 6 hours of the same and another 4 on the weekend, interrupting further work and my private life.

I answer the phone at the office between 9 a.m. and noon Monday through Friday.  If I am busy, it will go to voicemail.  If it is something I can take care of in an email, the caller will receive an email from me, not a phone call.  For every hour of my time sucked up in a lengthy unscheduled and non-specific phone call for which there is no agenda, I lose productivity.  I lose time in phone calls and in transitions back to work from phone calls.  Add at least 15 minutes every time the phone call is more than 5 minutes, trying to refocus and concentrate again on the project in front of me.  Each hour spent on an unscheduled non-specific phone call in the week pushes other projects back.

I realise that there are those out there to whom I’ve given a great deal of guidance.  I ask them to please reach out and learn from others, even though we will, of course, stay in touch.  After all, there would not be writing programmes, online courses and free gratis information about writing and the publishing industry available if I were the only one who knew these things.  How on earth do you think I learned?  It was from the knowledge base of others, not just one person.

I have two things going for me:  my opinion and my expertise.  Surprisingly enough, there are others with both.  Join a writers group.  Talk to other writers about plans or issues.  Talk to other writers about edits, too.  Pick other brains, not just the editor’s.  Other writers, from what I can tell, usually have the time and enthusiasm, and if they don’t, they will say so.  The editor is buried under other projects and pressures; it is safe to assume there is no time.

This is why the Canonbridge Ning community was started.  It is an ongoing writers’ workshop or conference.  I expect it to be used that way, not as a casual “I ran out of Kleenex” social networking site.  This is why it is private.  It’s meant for serious work.  Anyone who thinks they don’t have “time” for it doesn’t have time to contact me, either.  Any serious writer who does not already belong can contact any author already involved, or write to me at m.grant@canonbridge.com to receive an invitation.

It is not all about you, and it is not all about me.  It is about respect for every one of the other authors whose books are published through one of the Canonbridge imprints.  I need to finish everyone’s books.  We must give them the respect they deserve.  It is required.



1. simplyscott - 7 March 2010

hope i’m not driving you crazy with my little notes now and again. i am very aware that you are super busy all the time, so i try to be careful. if you ever need anything from me, let me know. 🙂

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