In almost every occupation, someone teaches a newbie. In some cases, the “someone” is ordered to do so by their boss. Many times, someone is willing to help. I’ve found both types. In one job I had, the person who was supposed to teach me the ropes resented it and taught me the bare minimum. In other job, a fellow employee delighted in teaching me what I needed to know to do my job.
My writing career has been an eye-opener. I cannot tell you the number of mentors I’ve had. (And if I named them, I would surely leave out someone, and I don’t want to do that.) More experienced writers shared their wisdom and knowledge when I was the newbie. People online—like the Roses here and other groups, yahoogroups like Marketing For Romance Writers, Authors Network, and more. Authors Helping Authors, an online support group started by our own Alicia Dean, strives to promote other authors. We know how hard it is to promote ourselves, and it’s so much easier to promote others. So we share tweets and Facebook posts. We invite each other to guest on our blogs. We write reviews.
Another online group I belong to is called Insecure Writer's Support Group. Since most writers are insecure, this group sums up our goal—to support each other. We “meet” once a month (like a blog hop), posting on our blogs then visiting and offering advice, commiseration, sympathy, and congratulations. This great group was started by Alex J. Cavanaugh.
|Mid-Michigan RWA's Angel Award|
I’ve been fortunate to belong to the terrific Mid-Michigan chapter of Romance Writers of America, fellow writers who help each other. We offer workshops, along with “table” advice during our lunches. The best are the people who bolster the newbies. They’re never too busy to lend a hand. Our chapter recognizes those members who give exception service to the members as well as the chapter. Our own Margo Hoornstra is one of Mid-Michigan RWA’s Angels.
Sometimes, commiseration and sympathy aren’t enough. Sometimes, we need a kick in the rear. I’ve had that kinds of support, too. Getting down on oneself isn’t hard to do. Getting back up and starting again often takes that swift kick. A good friend, mentor, and fellow writer can do that. We know the trials and troubles another writer goes through.
They say what goes around comes around. When we offer support and encouragement to others, they are there to support and encourage us. Non-writers (especially those in the business world) have often wondered (in amazement) why we help our competition. Is it because we’re nice people? Well, yes. LOL But we also remember those who helped us and we’re paying it forward.
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and romance into writing romantic fiction. She blogs here on the 16th and 30th of each month.