Are you a generous writer? When you run across a contest or call for submissions do you hoard it for yourself, or do you joyfully send the information to writer friends you know can create exactly what the publisher desires?
Are you afraid if you share what you have learned with other writers that somehow they will “steal” your audience away?
I’m here today to ask you to Get. Over. It.
You probably don’t even work in the same genre as your writing buddies. You don’t write in the same style, your voice is unique (isn’t it?), and no two writers will ever pen exactly the same story.
In the end, you compete only with yourself. Selling your work boils down to how well you’ve done your homework (learning the how-to’s and why’s of the craft); how creatively you’ve woven your tale; how competently you’ve delivered your craft in the form of your manuscript; how professionally you’ve presented your work to agents and publishers; and the phase of the moon multiplied by the time it took the editor to find a parking space divided by how many minutes she had to scarf down a three-day old bagel smeared with the one-quarter teaspoon of pear-tofu jelly she wrestled out of the plastic restaurant-style container for lunch.
Okay, maybe not the last thing. Maybe this editor really likes pear-tofu jelly.
But if you’re clutching to your chest all the information you run across because you think someone will steal your ideas, or will write a better article than you, or they might get a book contract before you do… that’s probably what will happen.
The old adage about people trampling all over their friends on the way up the ladder finding out how that helps them on their way down… well you know how that ends.
Be the first to share with a fellow writer when you run across the notice for a contest in their genre. Be generous with any writing tips you have found helpful. Graciously offer your help when asked.
Karma happens. What you do for a fellow writer now will come back to you. Maybe not directly from the person you help. And probably not today. Probably not even tomorrow. But the universe has ways of balancing the scales. I want to make sure I’m on the forward side of helping so the balance I receive some future day is in the positive column of my life.
I deliberately practice forward-helping my fellow writers every day. Recently I ran across a blog post that perfectly illustrates how the universe works for those who make the first effort.
Read it here, and then leave a comment about how this karmic connection has occurred in your writing life.
P.S. If you haven’t yet signed up for Funds for Writers, what are you waiting for?