Friday, August 20, 2010

Broken Promises and Deep Holes

I always enjoy my husband's advice and words of wisdom. He's funny, and he's insightful.

Some time ago we attended a writer’s conference where we listened to a really interesting author tell us the secrets of her success. By the end of her talk, we were so motivated if she’d handed us a laptop we’d have sat right down and started writing. The lady was pumped! And she knew how to pump her audience. We went to her next session too. She was on more of a role—even showing us her private PowerPoint files: charts for creating backstory, characterization sheets, color-coded plotting secrets. We were actually looking inside her writer-brain.

The more we oohed and ahhed, the more revved up she became. By the end of the session, she had passed around a sheet of paper to all 40+ attendees, getting our email addresses so she could share her private files with us. She promised!

That was months ago. Has she done it? No. Not a whisper from her. I didn’t really expect her to--just hoping. I was raised to expect nothing from no one so I would have been shocked if she'd followed through. I did go to her website a few days after the conference, tell her how much I enjoyed her sessions, ( very true), impart how much I looked forward to getting the valuable info she was so willing to share.

Nothing. No response.

Months later, what do I remember about this author? I can’t recall one single bit of writing advice she dished out unless I consult the notes I took, but I do remember her promise. A promise she didn't keep. We didn’t ask for all those files—it was completely her idea.

My husband gave me this bit of advice: If you fall in a hole, make sure you’re not the one who dug it.

Too late. I'm guilty of falling into holes I've dug. Now I know exactly how it feels.

4 comments:

Erica Vetsch said...

That is a pithy piece of advice!

I've fallen into a few crators I've dug myself.

Jan Rider Newman said...

Good advice. Unfulfilled promises --is anything more frustrating? Well, yes, probably, but not many.

Charles Gramlich said...

Make sure you're not the one who dug it. Excellent advice. And definitely a lesson here is not to promise what you can't deliver.

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

You're right! I was in that class, but had forgotten about that.