by Tracy Bryan
When a writer — whether a traditional writer or an indie writer — imagines a story, they usually can’t wait to bring it to life somehow. Most writers need to get it out of their head and put it somewhere else — on paper, in their computer, even at the bottom of a grocery list.
This is just the beginning of the creative process that the typical writer practices. Writers create art in the form of words. Some writers have great art and some writers not so much. The point is, all writers create something and they go through a process in order to create it.
This commonality that writers share gives them a reason to celebrate… together.
Unfortunately, like most human activities in life, there is competition. In the publishing world, where writers live, competition exists between other writers, between writers and agents, between writers and editors, and between writers and publishers.
There are so many elements of the publishing world that work against the common goal of most writers and their creative process. Competition is just one element that breeds negativity among writers. Publisher’s demands, editor’s needs and agent’s requests, are other elements that all get it the way of the creative process. Not to mention the cesspool of marketing schemes that writers need to solely wade through in order to find reputable ways of promoting their works. Who can a writer trust?
Finally, there is the reader. Even our readers (sometimes unintentionally) can be threatening to us. One bad review can diminish the creative and fragile process that we have tried to create.
So, how can we as writers make a difference and not succumb to the peril and rivalry of the publishing world?
Support each other.
It’s that simple. No one writer is expected to love every single work of another writer, but snubbing them is not a solution. Every writer should strive to create the highest level of excellence that they are capable of, while inspiring this in other writers, particularly new writers. This support is also an important part of the process.
Clique-ing together in a group of creators, and excluding certain creators because they are different, unique or unskilled, just isn’t acceptable behavior. In a way, this is bullying. Creators are a sensitive bunch for the most part, especially writers. Remember, they are pulling words out of their head and forming it together in hopes of creating something. This leaves them vulnerable, insecure at times and hyper sensitive to criticism.
The golden rule of ‘treating someone like you want to be treated’ seems like a good way to start in trying to solidify a positive union among writers. Wouldn’t this be great? We would have writers everywhere sticking up for one another, merely because they have empathy and respect for each other. Try mentoring a writer who is not already a part of your writing community or empower in a writer who is less experienced than you helpful techniques that they can benefit from.
Another form of support is to break down the walls of exclusion. This is everywhere. A writer being excluded from a contest, critique group, writing organization or review forum, and/or marketing opportunity simply because they don’t write a specific genre, or they don’t publish in a particular way, or they don’t have enough educational credentials. Wall, wall, wall. We have to stop labeling people!
The publishing world is still in a constant flux. Indie publishing is still on the rise and more writers are considering self-publishing. Traditional publishing houses are merging together and/or forcing some smaller presses out of the industry. Writers are being faced with the dilemma of having to decide which route to take and in some cases, which side to be on. Overall, they are at most times left with the responsibilities of designing their own marketing plan. All of this combined causes competition in the market and a rift among guess who… the writers.
Are there more ways that we can eliminate this rift? Possibly. If writers stick together, pull each other up, and use our creative energies together, we may just create a nurturing place to create. A place where we can all overcome the threatening elements of the publishing world. A place of happiness, where each of us reaches a level of success that we are all worthy of.
Together, let’s try to create an almost perfect, creative world.
Tracy Bryan is an award winning self-published author for kids aged 4-12. She writes whimsical non-fiction picture books about emotions, coping skills, mental health and mindfulness. Currently, Tracy has just released her debut fiction picture book called Put Away Your Phone! View the book trailer.
Tracy writes a monthly personal Blog for adults on her website and one for kids aged 6-12 called The Awesomeness Blog. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads & Amazon. To learn more about Tracy or contact her, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website tracybryan.com.
Tags: indie publishing, self-publishing, traditional publishing