Should writers help other writers? Aren't they all competitors? Why help the guy who is trying to beat you to the door of the publisher?
Good questions that have probably crossed the mind of many a writer on occasion. My unequivocal answer is Yes, writers should help other writers.
Newbie writers start out with a few skills related to writing. A whole lot of practice and writing experience helps them grow but assistance in one form or another from other writers is of great importance. It doesn't stop once you can say you are no longer a brand new writer. Even writers with years of experience, years of being published appreciate help from someone else who knows and understands what they deal with every day.
Yesterday, I reviewed a book for a fellow writer on my blog. Grant Overstake's YA novel was his first venture into this kind of writing. His background is in newspaper writing, sports columns, and editing rural newspapers. So, he is certainly no beginner. Anyone who has published a book, whether with a publishing house or independently, knows that it is not going to sell unless you get the word out. I was happy to help by reviewing the promo copy Grant sent me.
In return, he referenced my blog post on his own blog that is geared to his book Maggie Vaults Over the Moon. It really pleased me to read the kind things he said about me in his post today. You can read it here if you like. We ended up helping one another.
One of the reasons I started this blog back in 2009 was the desire to help other writers by giving tips and encouragement along with posts about my personal writing world. From comments I've received over the years, I know that it's been well received by those still acquiring knowledge about the field of writing and even for many who are longtime writers. Want to read my first-ever blog post? August 2009
I've had many writers inform me of new markets to try and I've done the same for many others. I don't feel like I need to keep a good market a secret. Giving the particulars on a market doesn't mean the other writer will get accepted and I won't. We are each going to submit and either be rejected or accepted on the merit of what we send the editor.
In my critique group, we help each other on a daily basis, and when one of us is published, we all rejoice.
Whenever you have an opportunity to help another writer, act on it. You never know when the favor may be returned.