A few weeks ago, I did a guest post at The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing (WG2E) about writers helping writers and paying it forward. My post, The Heart of a Writer, basically describes how I feel about my fellow writers and how important it is to help one another. If you haven’t visited, the WG2E site, you really should. There is a wealth of information there from writers who know tons more than I do, especially about indie publishing. Even if you’re planning on going the traditional route, you can learn a lot from the talented and knowledgeable people there.
This profession of ours is not an easy one. We spend a lot of time holed up alone, writing, editing, re-writing and tossing large portions of our work into the trash. Self-doubt is never far away. What makes it all bearable for me is the camaraderie with those who understand me. They understand the need to write. To get the stories out. They understand what it’s like to love what you’ve written one minute and hate it the next. They understand the angst of putting your work out there for others to read.
Seriously. I never know if what I’m writing is good enough. If someone will look at it and love it or throw it against the wall. With e-readers, I’d wager there’s less of that going on these days though. 🙂
My first book will be out soon. I’m scared. I freely admit it. Will anyone like it? Will they hate it? Will anyone even buy it to know if they love or hate it? I just had a discussion with another author who will be releasing her first novel soon. She admitted to being scared as well and I love her writing. She’s very talented. So I know I’m not alone in regards to being scared.
That’s why it’s so important to find a group of writers you can relate to. You can share your hopes, fears and dreams. You can support each other. One or two critique buddies are great to have in addition to a writer’s workshop. You just need to make sure you’re getting honest feedback. If everyone is telling you your work is perfect, they’re probably not being honest. Or maybe they just don’t know what to look for. Because everyone has room to improve. When we stop learning, our work grows stale.
So find some people you can count on, that you can help as well. Join a writer’s group. Find some critique partners. And join some online groups. My WG2E Street Team is awesome to work with. They support and help one another.
And of course, there are the people that make up this wonderful group at the Kennedale Library. Thank you all for helping me become a better writer. If you’re near Kennedale, we’d love to have you join us. You can find directions and times here.
In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from the post I did for the WG2E:
(I love this picture of a heart. As each heart embraces the other, it gets bigger. I think that’s what happens when we take the time to care about others. Our hearts just keep getting bigger – metaphorically of course.)
I can’t think of any other profession that actively cares about each other and others’ successes as much as writers do. In most cases, businesses are actively competing against each other. I think most writers understand that there are millions of readers out there. They’re not all going to like the same thing. And they’ll always want more to read. There are enough readers to go around for all of us.
I try very hard to support my fellow author friends. I tweet, share and pin their new releases or other items of interest. I read and review their books as often as possible. I read and comment on their blogs and share those as well. I read their works in progress and give them feedback. Hopefully I’m helping them make it a better read. And you know what? They do the same for me.
Of course, there are those out there that haven’t quite gotten the message yet that self-focus isn’t the best approach and they holler out “buy my book”, “look at me” over and over into the atmosphere. Do they get noticed? Absolutely. But probably not in a good way.
Your heart needs to be in everything you do — whether it’s writing or helping others. If you don’t have heart, the soul of the effort is going to be lacking and so will the final product. Piper Bayard recently posted some wonderful advice on her blog about how to treat people. I thought it very inspiring.
I hope you’ll read the rest of the post. You can find it here.
Before you go though, please share what you do to pay it forward and help other writers. Do you have a group you can count on? If you have one you want to promote, feel free to leave the link as well as where it’s located for those who may be interested.
Thanks for reading!