So, you want to
write me a letter asking for information or advice, eh? I receive a lot of these, and some get answered a whole lot faster than others. I typically save up all letters from wanna-bes and answer them in a batch every two or three weeks, so please don't expect instant turnaround. There are a few things that will definitely speed up my reply, and others that will prevent it entirely. If you want to hear back from me, try not to write a letter like this one:
You are such an idiot. I can't believe that shit you wrote about porno games. They are totally 133t.
So anyways heres my qwestion. Do u think I should be a programmer or an artist? And where should I go to school?
Write back really soon cause I need to know by Monday!
I'm sorry if this sounds like I'm talking to an ill-mannered 10-year-old, but in fact I get a fair amount of mail from ill-mannered 10-year-olds. Am I being picky? Definitely. Stuffy and old-fashioned? Probably. But old-fashioned formalities exist for a reason: they convey respect and consideration. They mean that you've taken the trouble to think about how your message makes me feel.
When you write me a letter
requesting my help, you're asking me to give you, free of charge, the most precious thing I have: time. As a consultant, I normally charge handsome rates for my time, so if I'm going to give it to you for nothing, I'd like you to show me that you appreciate it. Or, to boil it all down to two words: be polite.
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