We writers depend on resources. Market listings, critique groups, craft classes. But I, at least, end up being a resource for all my non-writing (or less experienced) friends. One acquaintance recently asked me how to register/protect a book title. I explained that titles are not subject to copyright. I was a little surprised he wasn’t aware of this. If you search Amazon for, say, Sucker Punch, you’ll get multiple entries, distinguished in this case by sub-titles. My own book, Fault Lines, can be hard to find due to all the other books with the same title. Ditto the anthology Fishy Business, which includes my story, “The Wannabe”. Another friend said she felt guilty downloading ebooks because she thought the authors didn’t get paid. I assured her they do. Unless the works are out of copyright, or pirated. I also get questions from less experienced writers on getting books into electronic form or setting up readings. I’m flattered that people think of me when they have a question. I’m proud that I’m far enough down this writing/publishing road that I have the knowledge they need. It works both ways, for sure. I have a wonderful actress friend who helped with the “cattle call” scene in “The Wannabe.”
Of course, it can go too far. I’ve encountered several folks who don’t understand the line between “resource” and “crutch.” Or “help me” and “do it all for me.” But I’ve gotten better at setting boundaries. And I always, always remember the wilderness of ignorance I wandered in when I began. Naturally, there’s always new stuff to learn, and I add to my knowledge and skills every day. Resources, too, get better and better, with so much (everything?) available online. However, the personal touch can’t be beat. So, I include my fellow writers in my list of resources. Stephanie, Jo, Michael, and the rest. Couldn’t do it without you.