Last post I talked a bit about how we writers have to carry our own load of work. That doesn’t mean, however, that writers can’t help each other. In fact, our generosity to each other is one of our best traits. Here are three examples. When I was just starting out, I attended a small summer workshop in my writing teacher’s home. There I met a woman who was writing book reviews for the local paper. She thought I was a good writer, and offered to introduce me to her editor. He liked my samples and I became a regular book reviewer, which led to a twice monthly column, which led to assignments interviewing several local newsmakers.
Another example: when I first began blogging, I was overwhelmed with what seemed like a huge undertaking. A friend of mine, a more experienced blogger, pointed out that not every post has to be an award winning essay. Sometimes a new fact, market or insight, perhaps with a link for further information, is just enough. His advice eased what had been the weight of a self-imposed, but false, sense of the earth-shaking consequences of my every word. Once I became more relaxed, I became a better blogger.
On the several forums that I belong to, members are generous about passing on notices of new or changing markets, with the links, among tons of other useful information and advice.
But, in each instance, it was up to me to follow through. In the first case, I contacted the editor, went in for an interview, and provided quality sample reviews that met his deadline. In the second, I became more aware and open minded about blog content. In the third, it’s up to me to follow the links, study the guidelines and produce appropriate material.
I get help from all over the place. The initiative to make use of it can only come from me.