Remember when your parents taught you to share with others? They weren't the only ones who instilled this trait in us. Grandparents, preschool teachers, kindergarten teachers, Sunday School teachers are a few of the others.
We heard things like Don't be selfish. Share your toys. Give your friend one of your cookies. The lesson was learned and we tucked it away to be used or shunned in later life. What is all this leading up to? Sharing in our writing world.
Do you share market tips with other writers? Do you let writer friends know about a terrific new writing exercise you discovered? Do you share some of the great info you got at a conference? Do you recommend an editor who has been good to you to your writing crowd? Do you tell your writing group about a new writing reference book?
Or do you keep all these things to yourself? Are you averse to sharing with writing friends? Some of you will be shaking your heads and thinking that no one would do that. Don't be too sure.
Consider that, if you share a hot new market, you might be allowing someone else to move in line ahead of you.Maybe their story will be accepted and yours won't. If you hadn't told her/him about the market, you'd be steps ahead. Now consider this--if your story is the better one, you'll move to the head of the line. If your friend has the better piece of writing, she/he will be number one. For the sake of friendship, tell your friend about the new market. If she/he comes out ahead, so be it. Don't be selfish. Share your toys. Give your friend one of your cookies. Bring Mom's lesson back.
One of the great aspects of a writing group is that the members do share tips and give recommendations with one another. Each member should be willing to help the others in any way they can. If you decide not to tell the others about a new anthology title looking for submissions, it's not going to catapult your story ahead. The others will no doubt find the call for submissions on their own or from some other writer who believes in sharing information.
I share submission calls, good articles or books, or information that might benefit with the members of my online group. My thought is two-fold--they are people I care about and want to see achieve success and if I help them, they are going to do the same for me someday.
There definitely is a competition among writers. We are all trying to be the one whose work is accepted and published. I love competition like this for it spurs me on, makes me want to send in the best writing I can. There should also be a type of camaraderie among writers that makes us want to share and help the others. Think back once again to what Mom said. Don't be selfish. Share your toys. Give your friend one of your cookies. Then hope your writing friend's mom taught her/him the same.
All this is not to point a finger at any one person. It's just to make us all think about the benefit of sharing what we can with other writers. Good deeds like that bring good things back to us.