FAQ for Writing About Writing's Facebook Page
"I'd like to give you a donation? How can I do that?"
If you want to be a monthly contributor and get in on a number of reward tiers, please consider becoming a patron of Writing About Writing. Even a dollar a month is enormously helpful and will get you in on the "backchannels" of questions about my work, polls only patrons can respond to about upcoming projects, and solicitations for feedback.
One time donations are of course welcome as well. The conspicuously placed tip jar is over to the top left, or you can use Venmo. My e-mail is email@example.com
And honestly, thank you. I've got rent to pay just like anyone. Financial support helps me keep writing (and running this page) instead of patchworking together side gigs to keep the lights on.
"Wait, you want money just for running a Facebook page?"
Nope, that's not all I do by a long shot. The memes and the puns are just the tip of the iceberg. This blog (the one you're on right now) takes me about thirty to forty hours a week to maintain. I also write fiction–both short and long term projects–and it all goes here for free. Just because you never click on the blog links doesn't mean FB is the only thing I'm doing.
And just so you know, I spend about six or seven hours a week most weeks running this page, so it's kind of a dillhole move to deliberately take time out of your busy schedule to sneer at the idea of someone who is entertaining you asking for maybe a dollar a month from a few generous folks.
"Will you promote [my thing]?"
If your "thing" is exactly (and I mean EXACTLY) the sort of content I'm usually posting (memes, macros, "you should be writing," quotes, and the occasional really good article about writing, maybe some book love, or a really funny miswritten sign), I might post it if–big if–I like it. I tend to avoid the posts some typical writing pages share a lot of, like ableist inspiration porn or classist (and often racist) prescriptivism. I'm all for giggling about a misplaced comma, but only so long as we're giggling about what the sign says instead of AT the person who did it. But if you send me something you made that is our usual fare, especially if it's "doin' me a laff (and not a concern)," I'll consider putting it up along with a link to a page if you want.
If it's not the normal stuff, but is at least tangentially related to writing, and if you send me a PM asking nicely first I will let you post on our "Guest Posts." (For the record, Dave M, the following is not acceptable: "Hey bro, you're not going to get your panties in a twist that I posted this on your wall, are ya?") If you are about fifteen teirs less misogynist and more polite than Dave M, I'll probably say yes. Be advised: web content filler slapped up there usually gets about the three or four clicks it deserves, but I've noticed that the response to quality posts is decent.
If it is wildly not about writing or it is your own creative writing, the answer will be no. I have a regular post where you can share your own writing. And if you think a page called Writing About Writing is a good spot for your car detailing business commercial, I don't know what to say.
BTW: If you don't ask and just slap up your self-promotional link into the guest posts, I just remove it, even if it's totally about writing. And if I recognize your name from having pulled the same thing before, I'll ban you.
I'll be really honest with you about my one of my many failings as a flawed human being. I've spent years now building this page up. Don't even get me started on the first year when I was posting to 95% my own friends and like four other people. Or the June in the middle of year two when I whooped inside a Kinkos because I'd passed 1000 followers. This page takes a lot of effort, and even though it's led a few more people to my blog and maybe been responsible for a few donations, it's mostly thankless, unpaid labor where most folks only ever chime in to complain. I have fed my petty cottage cheese and bile, taught it the dark side of The Force, and watched it grow up big and strong. I cheered it when it force choked the better angels of my nature. I kind of hate how people are crawling out of the woodwork–NOW–and trying to ride my coattails without a thought about reciprocity or so much as a peep asking if it's okay. I really quite enjoy being able to point at something one of my friends did (or someone whose work I've been following with interest) and send lots of eyeballs their way. But I feel really used when people act entitled to it.
If your stuff is self-promotional, I'm going to be harder on it–especially if you don't ask. Darth Petty demands no less.
"Will you read my creative writing?"
I can't. I'm sorry.
There are nearly half a million of you, and this page grows by a thousand followers on a slow day. I'm getting a couple of requests a day to read things--everything from a ten line poem to a short story to a full novel manuscript. I know you've poured your soul into it and it's dear to your heart. I also know that because you've poured your soul into it and it's dear to your heart, that even for that ten line poem which I could read in a few seconds, you probably want more feedback than just "Nice poem" or something. I know how serious that request is for you and how important it is to you and even how much you may have psyched yourself up before sending it to me. ("Fortune favors the brave, Milton. FORTUNE FAVORS THE BRAVE. LET'S DO THIS THING!!! LEEEEEEROOOOOOOOOY JEEEEEEENKIIIIIIIIINS!!!!!")
But still...as much as I admire your moxie, there's only one of me. A good week for me clocks in around 70 hours between all my jobs. I barely even have time to read and give feedback to my really good friends.
Of course, if you want to hire me, that's another story (see below).
Will I tutor/edit/do some writing for you?
Sure. My freelance rate is $50 USD/hour. ($75 if you want me to drop everything I'm doing and give you all my writing time). I will need you to pay for your first hour up front, and we'll figure out over e-mail or chat what you need. I can give you a billable hours estimate and a rough timeline for completion, and then I will work whatever is left of our hour, and you can see if my time is worth your money. After that, I'll ask you to pay me for every couple of hours for the first 10 hours or so. As we work longer and longer and build up professional trust, I can give you bigger chunks of time between payments. I'm much better at developmental editing than copy editing
Oh...did you mean for free?
I am interested in buying your page? Will you sell it?
Sure! Deposit $50,000 into an account I designate (that's about ten cents per follower--the price may go up if the page grows) and after the money has been verified I will relinquish admin controls. (That's after I walk into my bank, asked for a manager, and made sure that there is no possible way that I'm being scammed and the funds will not disappear.) That's about what it would be worth to me to go build an audience from scratch on another page and might just cover the costs for the time it takes to do so.
I know the bitter, cruel irony here is that no one who sends me these fucking messages will ever read this FAQ. But at least that felt good to write.
Where can I get some advice about writing.
I need to be on The Office so I can look at the camera.
Here. Here would be a great place to start for advice about writing. Try here. This blog. The whole thing. HERE.
|Yes, this is actually the "question" I get sent.|
Very, very frequently.
I'm not sure how people could send a page admin a thumb up accidentally so I suspect what is going on here is people messing with the fact that if I don't reply to every message, FB takes away my "responds frequently" (or whatever the fuck) badge and I have to wander through the wasteland of my own social media feces screaming to the heavens "Why have you forsaken me?" because what even is the world coming to without page admins struggling to be judged by Facebook as "very responsive."
So people send me a thumb up (or "Hi" or "Hey" or "Sup") just because they think I'll reply instantly to keep my "responsive" cred. When FB sends me a $500 check each month that I earn "very responsive," I'll start replying to a message that is just a thumb.
Hey./Hi there./What's up?/Can I ask you a question?
I appreciate your decorum if that's what you were going for, but whatever it is get to it in your opening message rather than waiting for a reply. There are way too many many of these interactions, and about 99% of them go sideways in some way or another if I reply. (Everything from scams to ubervitrolic haterade.)
Just say whatever it is you want to say (hopefully after having read this FAQ), and I will respond appropriately.
Oh great. I see that you've seen my message but you won't reply. Thanks a whole lot you jerkwad. What is wrong with you?
I hate that people can tell when I've "seen" their chats. I hate it with the white hot fury of a billion supernovas. Because not everything is urgent. And sometimes I triage that shit. And sometimes I triage it right into the ignore pile. And it is a universal constant that the people who send the most ignorable messages are also the ones who think they are absolutely the most important people in the universe and get bent out of shape if I don't reply.
Sorry random person. There was a time when I could give thoughtful responses to everybody who sent me a private message. That time was about 400,000 followers ago. Now I'm writing an FAQ instead of a regular post so that I can reply with this to generic questions I get a zillion of.
But go ahead and ask again. I can cut and paste the URL of this snazzy new FAQ to you.
Hey you posted my thing (my friends thing....a thing I know the source of). Can you make an attribution/repost with credit/give me a shout out?
Yes. Thank you. Crediting artists is important to me since I am one. There are half a million of you and one of me and the internet is a big place where reverse image searches don't always work (or are directly deceived), people steal images and add their own watermark, and where it's impossible to know who is happy to go viral with mere watermark credit, who wants a shout out, who wants a URL link, and who will be upset if their page isn't shared from directly.
I appreciate the help.
Can I get an autograph?
This is all very new to me and weird and I've got huge imposter syndrome and I still think people who want my autograph are trying to trick me somehow, but this question keeps coming up, so I better answer it.
If you let me know you'd like to send me physical correspondence, I will give you a P.O. Box address that I check regularly.
Send me something I can sign (I don't have a book I've authored or anything yet) with a self addressed stamped envelope, and I will sign it and send it back. Please cover all the postage both ways.
Or just give me your address and I'll send you a postcard.
I won't turn down a donation, but there is no "charge."
If you're so overwhelmed, why don't you get admins?
Well, aside from the occasional Social Justice Bard post or maybe a macro that suggests that bigotry isn't awesome just because people who don't suffer systematic forms of it have decided that a particular expression is no big deal or something horrifying to Status Quo Warriors like the idea that representation matters, I don't really get the kind of comments off of grammar jokes and "You should be writing" memes that require roving bands of admins. I can swing through posts like the ones above, clean up the worst offenders, and trust that most of my followers are adults who will message me if they need me to step in. [Please include the link as well as telling me what's going on. Sometimes the comments rage for DAYS and I won't be able to just figure out which post you're talking about.]
And even though admins can reply to messages, having them handle "Can you post my thing?" or "Will you read my story?" isn't really what I think anyone would want to do. The last one whose job it was to answer my inbox left me for a beluga whale named Percival.
Basically, it's the wrong kind of "overwhelmed" for farming out the work. Hopefully this FAQ helps.
Hello from my sock puppet account that I made specifically to message you. We meet again, Mr Brecheen! Why did you ban my main account? Is it because you hate the founding principles of democracy like free speech? And can I get reinstated because I've suddenly realized that shitting on that post means now I don't get all the rest of your awesome content?
(Okay, maybe this exact phrasing isn't, strictly speaking, FREQUENT)
Why did this happen? Probably because you violated the commenting policy. I didn't write that just to hear myself speak. Or um...read myself write. (That does not work nearly as well.) I don't have time for warnings and explanations and the inevitable back and forth arguments that come from them. Pretty much every place you ever go has rules and a code of conduct whether it's to keep your shoes and shirt on or to keep your voice down if you don't want the librarian to shush and glare. It has nothing to do with fucking democracy.
I might be willing to unban someone if they apologize, but I'm not going to do so on a timetable that would allow them to jump right back into whatever argument got them banned in the first place. So you will have to hang in the penalty box for a while either way.
Did you delete my comment?
Maybe. More likely just set it so that only you and your friends could see it, but that's it. Same reason as above. Comments are moderated on this page and you should read the commenting policy if you don't know exactly how and why.
I don't erase comments that disagree with me. I erase comments that are buckets of anal sphincters.
But that means you're biased in favor of liberals and progressive values! You let liberals get away with more. What about conservatives? What about libertarians?
What about them? I'm not running the goddamned debate club here, and no one is entitled to feed my posts through their ideological filters and then comment without consequence. If you want to disagree, there are a million ways to do so that won't get you banned. And while there is a complicated point to be made about power differentials and privilege, if it helps you feel better to just imagine that I am unfairly meaner to anyone who isn't a liberal, knock yourself out.
Can we be Facebook friends?
[Okay, people don't really ask me this, per se; they just send me friends requests.]
Yes, you may, but let me make a few disclaimers:
- This is my public account: Chris Brecheen (Public) If you've stumbled upon my private account, the answer will be no. That account is for friends, family, and people I've known online for a long time. It's not the VIP room or anything, but it's an essential aspect of a private life as my online persona becomes very public.
- You might want to follow for a while and decide IF you want to send me a friend request. I'm definitely not everyone's cup of tea with the geekery and the social justice stuff. 99.9% of my posts are public, so you really wouldn't be missing anything except the ability to comment.
- If you don't care for my (very) occasional social issues post on the Writing About Writing Facebook Page, you will like my profile even less. I write about that stuff almost daily.
- I can be a bit much for people. I post a lot.
- I have 1 "Note" that is a Commenting Policy for this profile. You should read it before charging in. ESPECIALLY before charging into a contentious post.
- Send me a PM with your request. (Don't worry, I check my "Message Requests" at least once a day.) That account gets around 200-500 friend requests a week depending on how many posts I've got getting shared and stuff at any given time. I reject most of them because I don't know if they're there to sell me sunglasses, phish my info from a pr0n site, or just pick a fight in the comments.
More to come....