"Why didn't you call her?"

Recently, on a whim, I asked a successful TV writer on Twitter if she'd be willing to read my novel WIP and offer any comments. She kindly agreed, although she said she didn't know when she'd be able to get to it. I gave her my email address and asked her to send me an address that would be good to send the file to.

I could have just gone to her website, located an address, and sent the file. But this is an easy way to leave the ball in her court, and for her to decide if she actually wants to follow through on a spur-of-the-moment thing she agreed to do for a nobody she doesn't know. A successful writer's impulse to help out an aspiring writer is a real one, and it's a generous, admirable one, too. But it's also something that will drown you in extra work if you give in to it too much.

Whether she was serious about accepting my request, or if she was just being polite to some random guy on Twitter, then this is a minimally invasive way to either continue the interaction (if she's truly interested) or to nip it in the bud (if she's not).

The alternative is for me to send her the file without really knowing if she actually wants it or has any time or inclination to do anything with it. Then I'm in a position of either forgetting about it and going on with my life, or sending her that dreaded email two months from now: "So, did you get it? What did you think?" Guilt, irritation, and obligation all around.

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