Another Part to Being a Writer

Writers write as I've said many times. They also have to promote, which means talking about their books as many places they can think of, online, social network sites, blogs like this, in person at libraries, bookstores, social and service groups, book and craft fairs.

However, that's not all. Writers need to help other writers. It's a paying it forward type of thing.

When I first started writing, I had so many different people who helped me along the way. My sister who typed many many pages of my manuscripts--until I finally took over. Members of my critique group and in particular, Willma Gore who taught me so much about writing and gave me the courage to keep on going. Other writers who invited me to speak with them, who gave me tips, taught me many things about the business of writing. People who were friendly to me at writer's organizations and big conferences, people who became my friends.

Since that time I've tried to do the same. I've taught writing classes, given talks for writers' groups and conferences. I've tried to help other writers and give them advice as others gave me advice.

When I'm at a conference or a big mystery convention I always try to make new friends. It's lonely being at a big conference or convention if no one speaks to you or invites you to sit with them or share a meal.

Frankly, I've made the best friends that way. Maybe I've even gained a new reader or two because I was friendly.

I don't want anyone to ever say that I wasn't friendly to them, or I've thought myself to important to be nice. I've seen that happen with some rather famous authors. I've also met some really famous writers who are always friendly.

Being a writer means you've put your name out there, if someone makes a point to meet you, it's important that you have the grace to be be friendly.



Judi said…
Oh, how well I remember Willma . . . and all of the others I've met through the years at VWN, writers' conferences, Elnora's classes, and even blogging. Writers are the best! Thank you for all you do, Marilyn.
Carolyn J. Rose said…
Great points, Marilyn. I love meeting new people. And it's icing on the cake when they want to meet me.
C. N. Nevets said…
Very well said, Marilyn. You have such a great heart.
Hi, Judi, I don't think I do all that much, but I'd like to give back as much as I've received.

Hi, Carolyn, yes, it is great when a reader is happy to meet you.

C. N., thanks for you kind words.
Jacqueline Vick said…
At my first writers conference, I didn't know anyone. I made three friends who I still keep in touch with. Conversely, there was an author whose book I was interested in. I tried to ask her a question about her book, but she was too busy trying to get the attention of someone more important. When I turned to leave, she suddenly realized she wasn't making a great impression. It was too late. I never bought the book.
Jacqueline, that's exactly what I was talking about. Not exactly the way to win new readers.


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