David Farland's #Writing Tips, which sends out periodic emails with advice related to the world of writing and publication. One of his recent tips talked about the value of what he called being a professional. This is how he put it:
"Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the value of being a professional. In other words, a professional is someone who works hard, meets deadlines, tries to be a team player, and so on.
A professional doesn’t whine if he doesn’t get his way with his publisher. He doesn’t punch his agent in the face. He doesn’t talk nasty about his agent. He recognizes that each of these people perform a valuable service, are probably doing the best they know how, and therefore strives to develop strong relationships with them.
If you look at successful authors, ones with long and healthy careers, you’ll find that they behave professionally."
While Farland refers to this as professionalism, a better term for what he's talking about might be respect. Sadly, we live in a world where respect is at an all-time low. People routinely treat other in ways that are vindictive, mean-spirited, and blatantly rude. So I thought this advice was quite timely. In whatever you do, it's not enough simply to be good at it. You also need to treat others with kindness and respect.
Even when we may never see a person face-to-face, how we treat that person matters. And I certainly am not immune. Just this week, I had to apologize to a player for the way I disconnected at the end of a match. While I didn't say anything negative, I still felt like my actions didn't communicate respect. So next time I was online, I took the time to apologize to that person.
What do you need to change to be more respectful?