Celebrate: How the writer’s Golden Rule helps your writing career.

Celebrate blog hopThis is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. More information here: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/

Do you remember the Golden Rule? Many younger people have never learned it. It goes something like this: Do to others as you would have others do to you. It’s a sort of mathematics of human social behavior. If you don’t like getting insulted, you can guess that other people don’t like getting insulted either, so you shouldn’t do it. If you don’t like having your things stolen, don’t steal from others. That sort of thing.

But how does that apply to writers? Well, imagine this situation. You have a new book coming out. And there are a handful of writers, most a bit more successful than you, who:

1. Go out and buy your book.

2. Write reviews of it,

3. Who post things on their blogs about the book.

4. Who Tweet about it.

5. Who share it on their Facebook pages and in a couple of appropriate Facebook groups.

How could you make that happen in the real world? Well, you take steps 1-5 and do them for other writers. Now, it won’t earn you much gratitude from the big-name writers like Stephen King or even the lesser-selling writers who are published by the big publishers. And even self-published and small press writers might not notice all the help you are giving if you don’t get to know them first. What you need is to develop a circle of just the right kind of writer friends— writers who are at a similar place in their writing lives, for example. Writers who write in the same or similar genres, or at least appreciate your genre as you appreciate theirs. Writers who understand your point of view— an angry atheist writer and a devoutly religious writer are not a good match, or an erotic romance writer with an Amish romance writer.

Here are some steps to finding your circle of writing friends:

  1. Network with other writers. You can do it by blog hops, or by joining FB writing groups that have actual conversations in them. Show interest in other people’s books and book promotion problems, don’t just write about your own. Make sure to join some specialized groups— mystery writers, science fiction writers, writers with Asperger’s Syndrome, feminist writers, women-against-feminism writers… Just make sure that the group is active and the members aren’t 100% absolute writing beginners.
  2. As you network, look for other writers that seem friendly. If they have FB author pages, like the pages. If they seem interested, make a friend request.
  3. Read the books of these writers and review them. Let them know, somehow, that you have done so.
  4.  Periodically share things that they post on their Facebook page.
  5. If you are on Twitter, follow these friends there.
  6. After a while of trying to be friendly and helpful, see if they are responding. Do they ‘like’ or comment on your Facebook posts? Do they ever volunteer to read some of your work? Do they ever share your Facebook posts or retweet your Tweets? If they are becoming responsive friends to you, you can begin considering them as part of your personal circle.
  7. Continue to do steps 1-5 above for all the friends in the circle. Don’t count the things you do for them and the things they do for you.
  8.  When you have done things for your friends, you might, on some occasions, ask them for favors. Make sure you say that you understand if they can’t do it.

After doing something similar to this for some time, even though I am not a person accustomed to having friends, I have a few good author friends that will help me out sometimes as I help them. Having friends like this may seem like a ‘small thing’ to readers out there who don’t have Asperger’s Syndrome. But for me, it’s a cause for big celebration.

Blogging ‘Where the Opium Cactus Grows’

Today I have started blogging the contents of my first poetry book, ‘Where the Opium Cactus Grows.’  I did not know how to promote my book in 2010 when I published it. So I decided to blog about 1/2 of the poems in this book, and see what happens.

jungle spiders

she was raised among the cannibals
in borneo or was it new guinea— no matter
her father was an avid anthropologist
right up to the day he was eaten
the cannibals don’t kill you
of course but if you die
you shan’t go to waste
he always joked &
he was quite right actually

she was raised among the cannibals
and the chief’s chief wife doted on her
taught her all her best recipes
and the secrets of ruling a cannibal husband
she learned her lessons well
all her husbands said so

she was raised among the cannibals
and that could explain
quite a lot

(c) 1990 Nissa Annakindt
Where the Opium Cactus Grows on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Where-Opium-Cactus-Grows-Annakindt/dp/0557939135/


4 thoughts on “Celebrate: How the writer’s Golden Rule helps your writing career.

  1. You are absolutely right about connecting with other writers and helping them out when you have time. I’ve found that with all the marketing info out there and social media gurus, the most supportive and genuinely kind people are those in my blogging circle. I’m so grateful for the Celebrate Hop and IWSG hop and the other people I know in the blogosphere. Have a lovely weekend!

  2. Very good post. I try to follow this rule as much as I can 🙂 ~ Other ways could be to feedback or beta read an author’s work. Someday, they may reciprocate. And… when giving criticism, be kind and not harsh.

    Authors NEED to know if something’s not working, or if a character annoys them very much, or such things as these. This helps with the finished book.

    But criticism such as… your character is not believable because he noticed his wife’s shoes (on their wedding night, in the honeymoon suite), is NOT helpful ,and can make an author question their writing. That is a personal opinion, not a fact… some men DO notice what their wives wear. There is a nuance to criticism, that can be encompassed in the Golden rule, too. 🙂

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