The Wig Diaries book project is akin to rolling a huge boulder up a frosty and cold mountain. We're talking days and months and years of pushing this project up hill, friends! I have my co-author, Don, but we aren’t always certain about what to do as a next step to get published – it’s not easy, is what I’m saying.
We've relied on the help of others.
I recently emailed a writer, who I one thousand per cent adore and respect, because I needed help. But I also included, “How can I support you and your work?” – since I know this writer has a big book coming out soon. I wasn't doing it to kiss up. He’s been working so hard for so long on his own project. Also, we creative types need all the help we can get, no matter if there’s a book coming out, article idea to bounce around, or if someone's in a rut. I meant the offer of help when I offered it.
Not that life requires an offer of help every single time.
Or that we’ll get graded on this “did you help others?” business ever.
But since I thrive on the chance to help my community (and even folks I’ve never met before), finding ways to encourage others is a muscle I use as often as I can. (Don’t puke if I say, “it feels soooooo good!” but it really does.)
There are a few writers I know who never help the rest of us. They pull stunts like asking for editorial contacts, and then doubling back on a promise to in turn share their contacts. We notice. We chat. We share info, to avoid getting duped, burned or whatever you want to call it.
I saw a non-helpful perp last week. I gave her a slight shrug and polite nod, but made zero effort to stop, catch up or talk shop. Seeing her made me cringe, because I remembered her offenses. Not talking to her goes against my social nature (also, I am trying to forgive people and be evolved and move on), BUT I don’t want to spend time with her because for years she has not helped us other lady writers out. She may have her reasons (I never said sharing is fun or easy, but you gotta step up!), but her behavior is selfish, blatant and there's definitely a pattern to it.
Life is too short. If writers like her don't want to play nice, and want to keep all the toys (meaning: job leads, advice, support) to themselves, then that's their choice. I wonder, does it make for an ever-lonely professional road?