It’s Not a Secret

Don’t tell them.

They’re competition. If you help them, if you tell them how to do better, if you share information, you’re only hurting yourself. You know what you do? Talk badly about them. Make sure everyone knows you’re better. After all, if they spend their dollars on your competition, that’s less dollars they’ll spend on you.

So, that’s one way a writer can look at fellow authors. We can give them the side eye and hope they fail.

Or we can see them as people on a journey with you.

Early on in my time attempting to get my writing published, I encountered the saying, “A rising tide lifts all ships.” I heard it first from Craig Martelle. He shares so much good information for authors, and he explains why: The only person you’re competing with is who you were yesterday. Other authors aren’t the enemy.

It makes practical sense. Most readers will read more than one author. Avid readers won’t read just your stuff, so why would they read just that person’s stuff? So why not help your readers find their next book, whether it’s yours or someone else’s? Why not help other authors do better?

It also makes sense to me as a Christian. Not every author is my friend, no, but I don’t need to undercut them either. I can show love to them and my readers by talking up other authors. I can also help other authors by sharing resources. I belong to several writers’ groups online, and I’ve made it to the point that I can help others. I share resources. I share what’s worked for me. That’s not to say I’m the expert. I’m not. I’m just farther along than some others, while still learning from others that are farther along than I am.

Honestly, it’s one of the reasons I write about writing at this blog. If it helps someone else, awesome! I’ll still talk about my own writing, of course, and share what’s coming out when. But I don’t need to keep anything secret.

Other authors have helped me. Why wouldn’t I want to help other writers?

Published by Jon

Jon lives in Kentucky with his wife and an insanity of children. (A group of children is called an insanity. Trust me.)

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