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Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers

Experienced authors know that finishing your book does not mean you've finished your work by any means. It's just beginning. If you want to keep your enthusiasm alive, build lasting friendships and even possibly rack up more sales, knowing how to build and nurture a support network online will help you immensely. This is a very valuable skill in any profession. For writers, there's no better place to start developing it than amongst those who will understand you and your passion most: your fellow authors. And doing so long before your book is published is even better.

 

Before you dash out to do so though, it's important to be honest with yourself. Do you see every other writer as the enemy, someone that's going to steal your ideas or your publisher or that coveted first prize in a contest or contract out from under you? Are you wondering what nefarious plot they will be hatching next to thwart your success? Do you get jealous when you read they have had some measure of success or accomplished a goal that takes them a step closer to publication and/or fame?

 

Oh dear. Then you're not going to do well at this networking thing. Unless you are willing to take this next sentence on board.

 

Your fellow authors are not your competition nor your enemy.

 

They really aren't. Honest.

 

Don't you feel better now having lifted that weight from your shoulders? Take a long deep breath to get over the shock if you must. When you're ready to start building your support network, remember: it's not you vs. every other author in the world. They are your comrades in arms, with aspirations and dreams of their own. As a fellow creative, is it not better to embrace that mindset and admire them for pursuing their dreams too, just like you are? There's room for us all. You can celebrate and support that creative spark and the magic both you and they do, or you can waste time fretting and worrying.

 

Speaking of fretting and worrying: writers can be very self-critical and easily discouraged almost as soon as they put pen to paper at times. Don't we all have days when we need buoyed up or wish we had a sounding board to bounce ideas off? How nice it would be to have that support network to draw upon on those dark, uninspired days! And a lot more fun than feeling some self-inflicted pressure bearing down on you.

There's a wonderful quote attributed to Papyrus which says "Compete with yourself; set your teeth and dive into the job of breaking your own record. No one keeps up his enthusiasm automatically. Enthusiasm must be nourished with new actions, new aspirations, new efforts, new vision. It is one’s own fault if his enthusiasm is gone; he has failed to feed it. If you want to turn hours into minutes, renew your enthusiasm."

 

Know thy enemy, friends: usually the worst one is yourself. Don't become jaded and let that tarnish your attitude towards other writers. Be excited for them and their journey and they'll become interested in yours too!

 

I hope I've piqued your interest in building a support network amongst your peers now. Right here at Authors.com is a great place to start! So why not make a commitment to yourself that you'll do three things here every day or two. Create stepping stones towards building that support network and/or supporting your fellow authors. Social communities like this have many, many different sides to them where you can join in. It shouldn't take you long to find something you'd like to comment on or start a discussion about. Explore and discover all those nooks and crannies you haven't yet. Even if all you do is hit the Like button on someone's post as a way of saying you appreciate what they took the time to share, it's a start! :) Chat, blog, discuss, debate, share, watch, comment... there's loads of possibilities right here. 

 

Building a support network doesn't happen overnight, true. It definitely doesn't happen if you don't at least take baby steps towards it. When you do you'll be amazed at how it all starts coming together beautifully and another time I'll share more details on ways to do so. People respond well to kindness, help and enthusiasm.

Go on, make someone's day. :)  I'll leave you with the wise words of Mark Twain.

 

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." 

Views: 475

Comment by Katie McKnight on May 10, 2013 at 12:09am

One more thought.  Writers are readers.  What a great way to work on our craft (while reading) and supporting other authors at the same time.

Comment by Stacy Eaton on May 16, 2013 at 11:00pm
Very well said!
Comment by Stephanie Lynne Thorburn on May 17, 2013 at 3:12pm

Thanks for sharing- networking and supporting fellow authors is important.  Authors.com provides a great community considering that writing is potentially an isolating profession, with many obstacle to overcome! 

Comment by Nolah Reed on May 26, 2013 at 6:23pm

Enjoyed this post immensely, especially since I'm on the road working and can't get to my usual writer's group meetings. Can't say how much I miss their opinions and critiques, not to mention the camaraderie of those involved in the same struggle as you are. These people understand the need to open a vein on paper. They get why you will stay up all night editing and re-editing until you are cross-eyed.

No one can understand an author but another author. That simple.

I've never felt competitive with other writers, amazed and humbled by superior talent, certainly.

I truly wish anyone who has the courage to expose themselves and their inner thoughts on paper every possible success.

Comment by Garry Edward Lewis on June 19, 2013 at 8:42am

I loved this post, it truly gets to the very heart of what writing is all about, we're all in a sense, one big family, not foes, but fellow writers with a common bond, our love for writing. I look upon fellow writers as family with a common goal as well, to share our stories with the world, and hope by doing so we bring enjoyment into the lives of others. 

Comment by JE Thompson on September 2, 2013 at 8:08pm

Super....enjoyed!

Comment by J. Lenni Dorner on October 4, 2013 at 3:28am

I've always thought that other authors turned people into readers. More readers = more possible customers/ consumers. Isn't that why Amazon has the, "You bought (whatever). You might also like these!" plus the, "People who viewed this also viewed these other items. Buy them together and save 4 cents!" Granted, that's on every Amazon page, not just the books. But that's how I see the world.

I did have a fellow student copy two of my ideas in college, though. I found out because the professor asked us about it the first time, and then determined for certain it was her doing the stealing when she did it the second time. So I can't say that the fear of ideas slipping out the door is totally imagined, for me. On the other hand, she was just a girl trying to pass a class, and I was a student doing exceptionally well in the class. It isn't exactly the same as fellow writers, as we do tend to be up to our ears in our own ideas. (I know I am.)

Comment by Jeremy Stone on July 18, 2014 at 5:21am

I believe I can learn from fellow authors.  We all want the same thing.  Were a group, and working together is how we learn from each other.  I welcome all comments, good and bad.  It is all a learning experience.  I love writing as most, if not all of you.  The blog has valid points of interest.  Don't you all think?

Comment by Janet Wilson on April 10, 2015 at 9:21pm

Wow...I did not know the writing world was at war too..."Gosh Darn It" we need some peace in this world, I simply want my books to be read, sold and be appreciated, I hope the war depreciate, the competition become less erratic and the enemy lines falls. Peace everyone....Have a great week-end...

Comment by Marieh Krizel Plaza on September 15, 2015 at 4:30pm
I really liked this post. The one or ones who wrote it thoughtfully told us the truth. I myself had been envious of other's works that I began to think of them as competition as this post said. Lately, I've been frustrated with myself for not being able to produce a finished and good story. Envy, frustration, I know it's not good to harbor these type of feelings. If I worry about so many things especially all at once, I might just go crazy.

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