How to Really Support Other Writers
It started with a tweet from a high profile author who directed some less than supportive, and ill-informed comments at (aspiring) authors who start marketing themselves before they are published. In another tweet, the author took exception to authors offering writing advice unless they were well established and traditionally published.
I don’t know the reasons behind the author’s comments, she may in fact have been trying to be helpful. In any case, her tweets seemed to have the opposite effect.
It led me to write this post about ways writers can really support each other.
Respect Each Other’s Journey
Every writer’s journey is different. There is no ‘one size fits all’ definition of what makes a successful writer.
Success is not dependent on how many book deals you have and whether you have been traditionally published. While a book deal may be the ultimate goal for some of us, for just as many it is not. And if you want to be traditionally published and haven’t achieved that goal (yet), it doesn’t mean you haven’t succeeded as a writer.
Success comes in many forms: finishing that novel in the first place; submitting a short story to a competition; getting 200 words down while you’re toddler is asleep; being brave enough to share your work with a writer’s group; self-publishing a book, or simply improving as a writer.
Let’s celebrate everyone’s unique journey and all wins, big and small.
Share Your Knowledge & Experiences
One of the things I love most about the writing community is how generous fellow writers are with their knowledge and experience.
If you have relevant experience and knowledge you think will help a fellow author, by all means, share it. However, I do suggest that you specify your point of reference. Be clear if you’re sharing learnings based on your personal experience.
If you’re an expert in a certain area (based on years of experience and qualifications) mention that.
You don’t need to be traditionally published or have ‘X’ number of books under your belt to be able to give helpful and valuable information to other writers. But you also shouldn’t offer ‘advice’ on a topic that is not your area of expertise.
In my case, I’m a Certified Practising Marketer with the Australian Marketing Institute, with 20 years of marketing and communication experience, as well as tertiary marketing qualifications. I am also a professional writer (I do it for a living) and am a published author.
I don’t have a big publishing deal, but I have expert marketing knowledge, as well as personal experience that may help other writers, so I will do my best to share it in a positive way.
Lift Each Other Up
We all need a little kindness and encouragement from our fellow writers.
If you’re anything like me, you have great writing days and bad writing days. You have days when you’re proud of yourself and other days when you just want to give up.
What we need is to be part of a community who understands all the ups and downs of writing and supports each other. Be ready to cheer others on and offer support with the hope they will do the same for you.
Have the Right Motivations
If you REALLY want to help other writers, don’t make it about you. Offer help and support with no expectations of getting anything in return. Be honest and authentic in your intent. Give generously and with an open heart and mind. This is the true meaning of ‘giving’…and often ends up with ‘getting back’ when you least expect it.
Share the Love
Follow fellow writers on social media and engage in their posts. Sign up to their newsletters. Buy their books. Review their books. Attend their events. Share other writers’ content. Every little bit helps.
Inevitably there may come a time when you feel the need to share an opinion that may not be popular. There’s nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone or having a differing opinion, but I suggest doing so in a professional and respectful way.
The business of writing is already tough enough without being subjected to judgement and negativity from within our own community.
I truly believe that helping other writers lifts us all closer to success.
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