“Hey, I’d really like to read a story where a giant robot tries to take over the world, and a snake grows arms and legs, and it learns how to wield a sword. And through the power of love and friendship, it can defeat the robot!”

“Hey, can you write a story about the secret life of cuticles?”

“Hey, would you write a story about what happens after fish get flushed down the toilet?”

Here’s the thing about favors. They’re generally ridiculous. And they cater to a quirk of your friend/family member. You may or may not think their story idea is good.

If you don’t want to write their story about the fox who learns what it means to be a friend by accidentally wishing everyone he’s ever cared about away, then you don’t have to.

If you think it sounds like fun or a good challenge, then go for it.

But here’s the thing: If they want to see this story, then they should write it.

“But it won’t be any good!” they’ll cry.

Just tell them you have other stuff you need to do. You probably have another project you’re working on. Tell them that they can hone their craft the same way you did and get good enough to write their story.

Don’t get bullied into it. Don’t let them try to say you’re not a good friend for catering to their whims.

If you don’t think it’ll take long and you have nothing else you really have to do, just try to do it anyway. It would be good to get you out of your comfort zone.

But here’s the real thing about favors: They probably won’t agree with how you’re doing it. They have a specific idea in mind about how it should look, and your style just isn’t theirs. They won’t be satisfied. If they don’t like how you’re writing it, just stop and tell them to do it themselves so it’ll be the way they want it.

The only way to get anything done is to do it yourself. They need to learn that.

And if you’re the sort that asks people for stories, really think about what you’re saying/doing. Why can’t you do it yourself? Do you really have a valid reason? See some of my previous posts for why I think your excuses don’t matter.

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