Gentle Reminder: Still No Public Email

LAP_logo2_940In 2015, I closed my public email address to preserve my sanity, though some would question whether I succeeded in my goal.

Lately, a lot of people have attempted to seek advice, feedback or whatever through my personal site: christophermschwarz.com and through help@lostartpress.com. I’m up to about five messages a day now.

Please don’t waste your breath, your fingers or your 1s and 0s. These messages are all simply deleted.

I know deleting them might seem rude. And some of you have told us how rude you think it is in long rants… which get deleted.

Trust me. It’s not you. It’s me. I had multiple public email addresses for 17 years and answered every damn question sent to me – no matter how odd or how much research it required. I helped lazy students with their papers on hand craft. I found links for people too lazy to use a thing called Google. I answered sincere but incredibly time-consuming emails from people who wanted to tell me their life story and get detailed advice on the steps they should take to become a woodworker.

And those weren’t even the ridiculous requests. It’s too early in the morning for me to even think of those.

It was all too much. I was spending hours each day answering emails. It cut into my time researching, building, editing and writing (not to mention time with my family). And then one message snapped my head in two. Out of respect for the individual who sent it, I won’t go into detail because he would be identifiable.

The email he sent was longer than my arm. It was going to take me hours to formulate even a half-a$%ed reply.

I deleted it. Then I deleted my inbox and my old email address.

So now I’m half-sane.

— Christopher Schwarz

 

P.S. If you really want to ask me detailed questions, the best way to do that is to visit our Covington storefront on the second Saturday of every month. I’m happy to talk to anyone about anything. I know some of you will whine that you are too poor to travel (while typing on your $2,000 computer…), but people have made the trip from almost every state in the country.

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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49 Responses to Gentle Reminder: Still No Public Email

  1. Salko Safic says:

    Thank you Chris, that makes sense.

  2. …and across the Atlantic.

  3. ikustwood says:

    I agree and understand. People that know you do know that you are a gentleman. Now let’s work … wood.

    Cheers

  4. kendewitt608 says:

    You did the right thing !

    My delete key has the letters almost worn off.

  5. jessamyn says:

    I always likes what Neal Stephenson had said on his “about” page many years ago. “My time and attention are spoken for many times over. Please do not ask for them.” Women have gotten used to dealing with email asking for undeserved attention and efforts, you should too.

  6. Steve C says:

    Hmm ok. I’ll unsubscribe and save you a bit of bandwidth.

  7. dd88 says:

    can I email you my thoughts on this post?

  8. Mike says:

    Hi Chris,

    I had a quick question.

    Actually, no I didn’t. Have a nice day.

    -Me

  9. Alex A. says:

    Completely understandable.

  10. gdblake says:

    Again, your time is how you make a living. Anyone who owns and/or operates a successful business knows how important it is to maximize the profitability of their time. When I owned an IT business I was overrun with emails and calls seeking free service from people who never spent a dime with me. My response was always the same, “I charge $XX per hour for support services, do you wish me to open a customer account for you?” For some reason the people on the other end of the conversation usually ended it. Those that didn’t became paying customers.

  11. Dan says:

    I’m a specialist in an obscure, very technical area of law. Nobody else within 150 miles does the kind of work I do. And yet people routinely stop by with “a quick question, won’t take a minute.” I always wonder how they know how long or complicated the answer will be if they don’t know the answer to the question. Turns out they don’t.

  12. Ian Mcnemar says:

    *slow clap*

    I’m beginning to adopt roughly the same policy in my tech gig.

  13. RoyJ says:

    It’s peculiar that people believe that you owe them something…for free. Offended that you don’t answer their emails. I don’t get it. You provide so much knowledge, information and inspiration free of charge on this here interweb. How about starting a new income stream and charge for each answer 🙂

  14. KeithM says:

    Full bore neanderthal? (Does this comment make me a wiener???)

    Seriously, I understand.

  15. bpdean says:

    It’s not like you don’t have a 28 volume and growing FAQ. Thank you for the continued paid and free content.

  16. Seriously, though, the amount of data and knowledge, including free articles etc. spread all over the web by The Schwarz alone is staggering. Just Google it. When I bought some of the books (a few, really), I actually paid, in some distorted way, for the rest of the (legally downloaded) free data that I had already accumulated in my PC.

  17. tsstahl says:

    You seem to be a cuckoo magnet. You should make a line of clocks. On the hour a small LCD screen could display an anonymized absurdity. 🙂

  18. The host of the Art of Manliness podcast did the same thing. It hasn’t hurt his business one bit.I seriously doubt there are any major issues you haven’t addressed in something you have written. If folks really need to talk to you, then can as you aptly pointed out, come visit you. I have on several occasions thought about doing the same. For me, Facebook has mostly been a way to post my kid’s photos to keep the grandparents up to date.

  19. hbm-la says:

    I thought these profound comments were automatically unread? ….

  20. Matthew Holbrook says:

    Chris:

    I encourage you to hold the line. Your time is gifted to you and you alone are responsible for using it well. Your wife and children have first pick on your time. They are gratefull for that. When you can give time to do your woodwork well, you will put out quality work. You are right to refuse,to let others hijack time that you rightly set aside for your family and your,work.

  21. skywalker011 says:

    Well said, you gotta have a life too. More power to ya. Some day I’ll visit you when i have the desire.😉

  22. RustedTinMan says:

    I read your blog, most questions are answered.
    Your words and work speak for themselves.

  23. In this day of such “sensitivity” it’s nice to see someone say what he truly thinks. Chris, you have made me a fan for life. Thank you for the inspiration and guidance!

  24. Steve C says:

    Ok. So Chris can’t waste time with emails, but He can waste it in here and on PopWW.
    Check. 🙂 🙂

  25. That moment you realized. You are the guy that broke Chris’ email…

  26. Will says:

    Anyone looking for woodworking training needs to look for local mentors and classes.You can’t woodwork online. Advice, maybe, but get your hands on wood and tools, read a book or 100, and get to work.

  27. Dan Zehner says:

    You’re awesome, Chris. And sorry for trying to circumvent the delete key on Twitter. I owe you a visit. 😛 My campaign table is almost finished (finally!)!

  28. Just want to re-affirm you on this, Chris. I appreciate how much knowledge you give out for free, how well researched and written your reasonably priced books are*, and don’t begrudge you one bit deleting your email. I’m glad you spend your time writing blogs and books, and feel that any discussion you might have concerning them should be public for all to read (on this blog, for instance.)

    *especially for how beautifully printed they are

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