when a chapter caught my attention - Truth 12: Writers Rarely Help other Writers.
When I just started writing freelance full time in 2007, I had
never thought about helping other writers. In the first place, I had no experience and no contact to share with other writers. But If I had them, I'd gladly offer to any writers who wanted them. In her aforesaid book, Elaura Niles noted that beginning writers are more willing to share information and "help each other up the ladder of success" than established writers. Her logic is this: "The lesser you have, the lesser you feel you have to lose". Realistically speaking, she is right.
Now in my fifth year of writing, I have amassed a lot of contacts and experiences and according to Niles, I'll have more to lose if I were to share them with other writers. However, Niles has also cautioned against the pitfall of negativity. "It distracts you from the true goal, writing. Which,
in turn, will make you even more negative. It's the classic vicious circle."
When I made that recommendation, I knew A was struggling financially as a beginning freelance writer. The thing about helping fellow writers is you have to know why you're helping them. If they are your close friends, helping one another is part of friendship. It wasn't A's fault that my editor "dropped" me; it could be that A's writing and rate are better than mine. Nevertheless, I moved on with my writing. Few months later, the same editor contacted me and gave me back my assignment.
"A bee goes to the flowers for the nectar. He doesn't know he is serving the greater good by pollinating. The good of an action is often not seen by the person perpetuating it. Try anyway. Trust your instincts. Expect nothing in return. Be surprised if fruit shows up later." Elaura Niles
The writing community in Singapore is small and writers are struggling to make a living out of their passion. It is important that local writers help, encourage and inspire one another. I don't believe that you should force yourself to buy books that you won't read in the name of support. But you can always share them on your social networking sites when you come across new local titles. My best friend is an aspiring novelist and now helps me with Booktique. We email each other writing opportunities and inspiring quotes on writing.
"Pass along the good deed. Even if you have limited contacts, share. If you help someone, let those who helped you know that you were inspired by them (it's the bee thing)." Elaura Niles
Next time that you are in a dilemma over helping other writers, listen to Niles: "Always keep your mind and eyes open. Just as the bee doesn't know his effect on the world, often we don't either, but if you pay attention, sometimes you may catch a glimpse of the big picture."