“Writing is a profession that has no real career structure and your best advice when you hit a difficulty is probably going to come from another writer one or two rungs on the career ladder ahead of you.” Sara Sheridan
Last week I was doing an online course with other writers, and we were being mentored by two experienced writers. I must say I really enjoyed the experience. It felt good to share, to listen to other literary ‘voices’ and styles. I was helped to see my way through a writer’s fog and got constructive feedback. It felt good. I felt validated as a writer.
It brought home to me how important it is for all writers to ‘pay it forward’. When you get involved in writers groups and critique groups there is a mutual sense of helping each other out. Sometimes helping others with their writing may feel tiresome, and one may feel like being selfish in order to devote time to one’s own writing. But we are all on a writing journey and we can all learn things from ‘paying it forward’, and also benefitting from others who are willing to help us.
Writers should be willing to open up about their writing. We can be very ‘precious’ about our writing. Yes, we should believe in our writing and our creative concepts, but if we don’t welcome suggestions for change we might be missing out on some important insights and the opportunity to produce a better book. I too have been guilty of wanting to reject change, but common sense tells me I should see through other’s eyes, and to listen. Our work does need to be edited and critiqued to become the best we can be as writers.
We all like ‘a pat on the back’, a sincere compliment, and to be rescued when we are floundering. So, notice what your fellow writers are writing; if you enjoyed something they wrote, tell them, and if they are looking for guidance, be ready to give some constructive feedback. Help each other by cross-promoting each other’s work and building relationships with each other. I have had help in this from, https://authorscommunity.net/, https://www.scbwi.org/ and groups on Facebook and Goodreads.
Sharing is caring they say, and by sharing, discussing, listening and encouraging we can find a collective and personal joy in writing.