Monday, December 08, 2014

Three Ways to Give Back as a Writer

We've all been there. A newbie. Going to our first writer's group. Telling our family members we want to write. Calling ourselves writers to the IRS. Joining a critique group. Sending out our first query. Getting an agent response...published for the first time.

You might be somewhere on that timeline. Or you might already have a book published and are working on the next one. But at one time we've all been at the start of our writing careers.

How often do you give back to the writer coming up through the ranks like you did?

We get busy in our career. We can barely send out emails let alone write those tweets and blog posts. Answer a phone call that comes on a Monday? Forget it.

But as I sit here and remember what I've been through as a writer, I also remember how so many other writers helped me along the way. I also remember being afraid to ask but when I did, how I was overwhelmed at the kindness sent my way.

Maybe now it's your turn to give back.

Here are three ways to encourage others on this rocky road to publication.

1. Offer to do a short critique for a new writer. Point them in a direction they can submit their work. (Several published authors gave me critiques and helped me tremendously.)

2. Start a writer's group. You don't have to lead it--just be willing to share what you've learned. (My writer's group in Florida gave me so much information to push me forward.)

3. Encourage them through social media. (I love it when a published author takes the time to say something on my blog or Facebook.)

These three points are not the only way you can encourage a new writer. What's vital is to pass and share information and maybe lend a hand to someone who needs it.  Who knows? You might be helping the next great Stephen King.


Lily Robinson said...

You have certainly passed a lot of valuable information my way! You are also a great encourager! Thank you.

Kate Breslin said...

Great post, Terri! And a wonderful reminder that we all started out in the same place. Thank goodness for the writers that helped me along the way. Paying it forward! :)

Carol Garvin said...

This is an excellent post, Terri. A multi-published author once told me she thinks of herself as being on a ladder ... that there will always be more successful people above her from whom she's thankful to receive advice and a helping hand. At the same time there are less experienced writers working their way up behind her, to whom she's happy to offer a helping hand. I like the concept.

My one hesitancy is needing to remember that even though I might have some publishing credits, it doesn't make me an expert, so I'd want to be tactful and careful about how I offer my help.

Terri Tiffany said...

I think every writer has something to offer another writer. We all have gone through submitting or something that we can offer advice to someone else. No one is a real expert and the writer ultimately has to decide what advice or help to take. :) I have tossed some advice and taken other. But it always is nice that someone cares enough to try.

Sally Chambers said...

A really good post, Terri, especially the point about encouraging newer writers on social media. Even if we don't have a book published yet, if we've submitted articles, devotionals, or short stories that have been accepted and published, we can certainly some small help and encouragement. It's a blessing to be able to share what you've learned with another.

Lynda R Young said...

A little encouragement goes such a long way.

Karen Lange said...

These are great ideas, Terri. I believe that in doing things like this, we can reap just as much as our recipient. Good post!

Marja Verschoor-Meijers said...

Thanks for sharing these Terri, simple, practical and very useful!

Cheryl Klarich said...

So true! It is so nice to know that you're not alone... the writing community can be such a blessing!

Thanks for the encouragement!