Thursday, March 14, 2013

Why I cannot read stuff that you send



Okay. So this is a 'semi-rant' post.  It is different from my usual 'oh-look-at-the-bright-side' posts. Because sometimes you just have to say it like it is. There is no other way.

I know you folks, the nice folks, (the folks who read my blog :)) probably know all of this. But the blog is where I can express myself. I have to clarify certain things over and over, because I get asked the same things again and again and again , mostly by people who don't know me at all.
So here goes:

I am a full time writer now. Yes, I am honoured that you consider me worthy enough to give you  suggestions on your writing. I appreciate your taking time out and sending me your work. Thank you. But no--I will not be able to read what you send me. The reason is that I simply have no time .I know that you might be thinking--but reading what I send will take only a few minutes and it will mean a lot to me if you read  and offer feedback. Yes, I appreciate you are eager to have a published author offer opinion on your work, but my answer remains no.

Allow me to explain.

1. I have a huge reading list already. I am  also working on my fifth book (and that itself is a mammoth task which consumes my every waking hour--if I am not writing I am thinking about the book), I am writing articles for a magazine, I am reading a manuscript for an author friend and giving inputs,  I am giving newspaper interviews, I am managing my social media pages and after all of that I definitely want to have some time for myself, for my family, for my dog who is my third baby and for my art. I want to read the stuff I like to read. I read 2-3 books at a time. For example, right now I am reading this brilliant book called 'The half of a yellow sun' by  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and I am reading another amazingly outstanding book called 'Nobody can love you more' by Mayank Austen Soofi and a third called 'How to talk with your angels' by Kim O Neill.

2. I get at least 12-15 requests a day, where people ask me to read and offer suggestions. For me to do that I will need at least 3-4 hours (if I were to read all and I cannot be partial and read only one). I  am sorry, I simply cannot afford to spare that kind of time.

3.I blog because I like to blog. So I make time for it. I read the books I want to read. And since my time is limited, I choose to read the stuff I want to, stuff that gives me joy, makes me happy! :) It is simple.

4. I am not as easy person to please. I don't mince words. Most people want praise. They really don't want feedback. I don't like to discourage people. I will be happy if you are published. I do wish you all the best. But sorry, I cannot mentor you or hold your hand while you pursue your dream. I have too much going on in my life already.

5. When I politely refuse to read or offer 'advice' on whether people should quit their present job and become a full time writer (they wouldn't even have a single newspaper article published in their name. They wouldn't have written before. Yet they want me to make a decision for them! They want me to tell them it is easy--go ahead a be a writer, throw away your day-job)  then they mail me back saying "I will show you one day. Today is your time. So you think you are great. Tomorrow will be my time. I will mail you a copy of my book one day."
Hello!! I am not competing with you!! If you become a full time writer and get your book published. good for you! I will still read it only if it interests me and if the writing is brilliant! Heck, i might even review it on my blog for you ;-)

6. Yesterday  my fellow author Manreet  Sodhi  Someshwar and I were having an exchange on Twitter about the crazy requests that we writers get.  Many of us get mails all the time where, people ask us to mail them a copies of our book!
Hello again! The publishing industry is like any other industry. I guess asking a writer to mail a copy of the book, is like asking Salman Khan to send a free ticket to his movie. He should oblige right? After all I am his fan and it is just one movie ticket for him :)

7. Another remark from a well intended person (I don't remember who said it and so I presume it was well intended but I remember the words so well because I hear variations of this very often)  made casually which still has me smarting is (and I quote verbatim)  "For you what--it is so easy. press a button and ting a book will pop out."
Yes--that is right. Hundreds of hours of sitting up writing, giving up going to movies with friends because you have to write, not socialising because you are in the middle of a book, sitting alone with no-one but yourself for company days on end, feeling inadequate and insecure on the days that words won't come, second guessing about the worthiness of plot, looking for reader affirmations, writing, editing, re-writing, writing and more writing till at last the manuscript is finished--oh yes--all that is 'Ting--and a book comes out'.


Writing is full time work.
We write because we love to write. Because we have stories to tell. Because we want to connect. Because we can touch lives. Because we have so much to express. Because we love words.

Do we love praise? yes.
Do we like being forced to read stuff we dont want to read?  No.
Do we like our readers? We love them, we would be nothing without them.
Will you read my work? NO

I guess I have said what I have wanted to say. And yes I feel better now.
Next time I get a request I will point them to this post.

 Thank you for reading :)

_______________________________________________________________________

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40 comments:

  1. I enjoy reading your blog (and your books), and I completely support you on what you had to say in this post.

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    1. Thanks for the support Ganesh. Appreciate!

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  2. Ha, ha ha .. i really love this... great going Preeti.....sometimes frank-speak really helps

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    1. What to do! Getting flooded by people sending me stuff they have written!

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  3. You must have done this a long time ago preeti. It was like somebody taking an advantage over you. What kind of challenge he throws at you?! "I will show you one day. Today is your time. So you think you are great. Tomorrow will be my time. I will mail you a copy of my book one day." Let him go and do. And I'm really happy with the way you replied him :) :)

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    1. It was a 'she'! :)
      I will be happy if she gets published! Good for her!!
      But why hound me?

      This is my reply in detail :)

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  4. ouch it was too straight !

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    1. :) Apologies. But you have no idea how abusive people get when I don't read their stuff!!

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    2. I am glad that in the initial phases of ur success I recvd a reply from u, met u and even got ur very own business card. Ur book Life is what you make it really helped me a lot during an awful phase of life.

      Just chill Preeti, u r only faving the consequences of being a 'celebrity author'!!!!

      And damn ...where is the attitude ;-)

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    3. Amey :) heh heh.. yeah. i should be a bit rude, stop replying to people and shout a lot :D

      I wrote this post so next time I get a request for 'please have a look' I will send them this link! It's just making my work easier for future. :)

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    4. :-)

      Rockstar you are one!!!
      Just chill...have a grt day.
      Someone Ppl like to waste their's by sending u stuff.

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  5. Loved the last point.. I really cant believe someone actually said that. Ting out comes the book. Lmao!!! if it were that simple anyone would be an author.. Long time back even i did ask you of something similar, was stupid and immature of me then, now i know. :)

    Cheers

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    1. Shanthu--I don't remember at all what you asked! Thing is I am getting flooded by people sending me stuff to read. So I had to write this post.

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    2. I guess it was after your first book, i asked you to review my posts in my blog :) Maybe this is some side-effect of being a well known, published and famous author, there will always be some who will irritate you with such requests :)

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  6. haha! God I think you just have very strong desire to slap these people. I see how frustrated you are with all the crazy requests! :D I might not comment on all your blogs but I am a silent reader who waits to read something new on your blog page everyday! If I don't find anything I go back to reading the old blogs! :) A huge fan and an inspiration I have become a regular to gym and took up yoga because of you so I can look as ravishing as you when I am of your age :D (hopefully, I at least stay fit) So yea, ignore these people and keep writing for your fans! We keep waiting with our eyes wide open for your next blog and book! We love you :) <3 Oops! Sorry wrote a lot! :|

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  7. And sorry for the bad english, I should have reviewed the comment before posting! :(

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  8. Guess what? Success never comes cheap. Still have complete faith in you that you will do your best despite of such insensibilities :)

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  9. Interesting read and this is not first time you expressed this and who ever reads your blog knows that how busy you are, but still you reply to all our comments on the blog which I have not found many of the celebrity do. And I must tell you whenever I see your book in the top list I am very happy and I just all my friends Hey! I know Preeti di from the blog and she is a wonderful writer(at least if not to all I say this to myself) But true so many people dont understand how painful it is to write and I dont know who on earth says its easy to become an author.... No its not easy. Cheers for good work and I pray you continue doing so... And Ya its not easy to be a celebrity and remain humble bearing all things. Craziness.... haha

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  10. OMG had never imagined u have 2 face all this.People should be more mature in their thinking and should not induldge in these sort of irritating activites.Good u have made them all clear. Regards...
    Ishtdeep Singh

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  11. Glad you minced no words Preeti - a tough dose is a good dose! Haven't we all had it :)

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  12. Hi Preeti,

    I've read all your books and absolutely love them. You were one of the writers that inspired me to write a book. My book 'Spicy Bites of Biryani' by Srishti released in Jan and it's all thanks to writers like Karan Bajaj, Ravinder Singh and you. I guess I identified a lot with you because I'm also a Mangalorean. If a nobody like me gets so many "offers" to co-author, proof-read, edit, etc., I can imagine what you must be going through. By the way Abhilash Ruhela, the blogger, compared my writing to yours and although it's nowhere close to yours, it really made my day.
    Hope I get to meet you someday. All the best and God bless.

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  13. Hi Preeti,

    I am a voracious reader , the first book of ures that I read was "the secret wish list". It is an amazing book. I picked it from Bangalore Airport and read it throughout my flight to Delhi:)Last week went and picked "tea for two and a piece of cake" . If you get time , could you suggest some good authors or titles for me to keep reading?? I have kind of exhausted my to read book list. Thank you so much:)

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  14. Omg preeti, good that you finally EXPLAINED the nagging ones outright with a firm "NO"... I guess your regular readers would obviously know about your hectic schedule(and that includes me) --what with your documentary shoot and interviews and above all ur family!!! I've wondered loads of times how you could juggle with all these roles so efficiently. Coming to the serious topic here, chillax preeti:) lets hope you dont get flooded with such mails anymore :) Good luck with your next script:) P.S. But personally I'm glad you could make time for blogging you know:P i look forward to it very eagerly:)

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  15. It needs courage to say No and be straight forward even if it hurts others. Why we want to please all the people all the time? It is good to have one's priorities right. Good post!

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  16. ouch, some pretty mean things people say! You know to be honest, it really seems like writing a book is easy and pop comes out the book! It's only when you write posts like these (and many more earlier ones) that people understand what goes behind a pretty book.

    Many people tend to flaunt their success and make it seem easy. Like it was a cake walk for them. I have heard people say "Oh it was nothing... oh it wasn't a too big deal." But you do not do that. You acknowledge the hard work, sweat and pain that goes behind your work. You make it real and that is why I look up to you.

    It is also commendable that you chose to explain your "NO". :) Not many would bother.

    :) :)
    Cheers!


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  17. I think Preeti, you can use all this experience in your books(just joking). A s a famous author you have to put up with strange requests and 'threats'. Do people have so much free time to think about negativity? I liked your books and wait to read your blogs. Keep writing for us.

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  18. I think Preeti, you can use all this experience in your books(just joking). A s a famous author you have to put up with strange requests and 'threats'. Do people have so much free time to think about negativity? I liked your books and wait to read your blogs. Keep writing for us.

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  19. I think you have enough support now. Still I feel that 24 hrs. is too little a time for a full time author.Even house-hold occupant like me craves for more length in days. Go ahead Preethi, there are many-many readers for you.

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  20. I can understand this full well . Just don't heed to what people say. You take out time to reply to the mails even that is a big deal . Not everyone does that !! Hope all is well at your end. Love lots :) <3 !!

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  21. Preeti,

    In my opinion, this is one of the bestttt posts u have written - so very honest and to the point... Good luck with your 5th book.

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  22. you are very outspoken...there are few persons who says no to their readers....i think you should have personal assistant.because there are some mails which can be answered.and he/she(Personal assistant) may help you in writing blogs and other things as well.

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  23. Hi,
    I think sometimes in life it is really hard to say NO but saying No to some things really helps.
    And you did a really great job by saying NO straightforwardly.

    Cheers!!!

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  24. People always wish to hear a YES, and if we say NO, they take it too personally. This post was truly straight from the heart and a very apt way of saying a NO!

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  25. Wonderful post Preeti! Success comes at a price, and there will always be people who will try to use you for what you have done, and always have the thought of "showing you when their time comes", and the yearning to pull you down some day. Bad it happened to you, but yes, it is true that it happens with successful people very frequently. Time to just ignore and move ahead. Indeed, after reading this post, I feel lucky that I received not one but two mails from you in last month. I am honored :)

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  26. Frankly, you probably started out asking someone to review, or for an opinion of, your work.

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    1. No I did not. I wouldn't even dream of encroaching upon someone's time like that! I sent it to the publishers after I was done. I never even asked my own spouse to read! How rude to encroach upon people's time!

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  27. hahahaaa... couldn't help laughing.. especially at the last point... Although humorous, I could see the frustration behind your words.

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  28. :) .... Your a fabulous and a very busy author... can understand...! BUT the best part about this blog was that I came to know that your working on your fifth book (which I didn't know before).. I'd be eagerly waiting for it! Much love!

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