The other day, I received this message:
"Hope you're doing well, i was wondering if you're gonna open one slot on your e-junkie for a long story, i would be interested !
Now, that's a great message, right? It's polite, it's enthusiastic, it's offering to commission me - if you ignore the part where they mix up e-junkie (which is my eBook store) with BMAC (which is my commissions site) it's perfect.
"Not for you."
I won't post their response to that.
How could I be so rude, so flippant, towards a potential commissioner? Don't they have "customer service" where I'm from?
See, this was no ordinary commissioner. I'd made a mental note of their username eons ago. Honestly, I thought I'd already blocked them - something I've done now.
Months ago, they sent me a message. They detailed what they wanted in a story and whether I was open to writing it. I immediately said I was. By the nature of how I work, I began thinking about the story, plotting it out in my head, developing certain cool scenes...
About a week later, I hadn't received payment for the commission. I sent them a message and got something like this back:
"Oh - no, I've changed my mind, sorry."
Then, a few months later, they did it again.
When they came back a third time... well, you've read that story above.
I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining. The vast, vast majority of my supporters are amazing people. If I were selling cupcakes by the road, I'd deal with more and worse jerks than this.
The point of this is not to vent.
The point of this is a warning.
I have given people lifetime bans for wasting my time and disrespecting me less than this. Some of these people I liked personally, I liked their story ideas and they promised me big money. It doesn't matter - no amount of money can return the trust, time and mental energy squandered by breaking the rules.
Some call me harsh; I say I'm fair. My writing time is finite - and a lot more so these days. I don't want to waste it working with assholes.
I know I'm fair because the vast majority of commissioners never even come close to getting banned. They respect my time and my rules, apologize for mistakes (and better yet, don't make them) and appreciate what I do. As such, I happily, gleefully churn out the best stories I can for them.
To my fellow creators, do what's right by you. If you're in an artistic field and you think the customer is always right, rethink that. There are more commissioners than artists and writers, so consider filtering out the ones you don't want. You might find your quality of work and quality of life improves.
Maybe even your income, too.
Once again, I'd like to thank everyone who's shown me support over the years. The more you support me, the better and more content I can create. I'm proud of my library here, most of which wouldn't exist if not for you.
The would-be commissioner reached out to me after this. Their message was long, thoughtful and polite - more than I deserve, really.
They want to make it clear that there was no malice behind this. It was a series of unfortunate real-life situations, misunderstanding and stuff like that which led to this.
I believe them. I don't think they're a bad person at all. The fact they wrote me this message proves they're decent. After all, it would have been easier to spin up a fake account and try to commission me thusly.
I thank them for their honesty.
It's also not relevant. The crime is wasting my time and disrespecting my rules. Whether done through malice or negligence, my time is still wasted.
Your beloved Lord Atoms is a merciful ruler of this erotica realm. I've banned others for lesser offenses - they had the chance to apologize and own up to their mistakes, which would have lifted their exile. (My favorite was someone blaming me for their confusion, like I haven't written a billion words explaining my processes and expectations.)
Had any of them sent me a message like this, I would have welcomed them back in by the end of the first paragraph.
This, though, is a pattern of major offenses. Even though the offenses were unintentional, even somewhat reasonable, the intent is irrelevant.
I want to reward good behavior. More than that, though, I want to protect my time. The ban stands.
Crude Club: housework, prenatal yoga, stop boredom
Crude Club: feeder club, slut advice, troubleshoot
Crude Club: PDAs, a sexy ceremony, keys to stories
Crude Club: Party drugs, family, 1111 characters
It’s a shame, but best to smush it then let freebo’s dictate your time.
thats right folks! pay early and don’t be a douche! don’t hold it off and change your mind, you’re wasting his time and everyone’s goodwill