I've got a confession to make. I don't always behave like a writer. And I don't mean I don't write every day (though I don't), and I don't mean that I don't constantly research my craft (though I don't), and I don't even mean that I don't regularly attend workshops or classes or conferences (though I don't). No, the unwriterly behavior that I often miss out on is cooperating and collaborating with other writers. That's not necessarily something that a writer must do every day, or even every week, but is it a big part of being a writer?
For many writers, yes. And for this writer, as I was reminded this week, yes. Because when this writer acts like that writer, this writer is fulfilled. Satisfied. And writing.
Also: supporting other writers, one of the base reasons this blog exists. Been a while since I've really done much of that. Other than a few author talks which I might have casually mentioned here, and the purchase of a book or two, I've not done much for some time to support and promote other writers.
This week that changed.
I exchanged information with another writer in my genre to critique each others' WIP. This, by the way, was the happy outcome of at least two other writers doing their jobs: putting us together. I found this writer via one of the ladies on the blog, who mentioned me to another writer friend, who thought of her friend, and like mixing a new recipe, they put us together and I'm hoping the result will be delicious for us both. I'm so looking forward to reading this woman's manuscript and helping her with it even as my own baby nurses at her computer at the same time. In fact, I'm craving the experience. How do I know that?
Because earlier this week I did precisely that for a children's book another writer I know sent to me. This is someone I've known for several years, but it's only recently I offered to read anything she wanted to send me, and within weeks an email arrived and I dove in to be delighted and excited and energized by her work and originality. It felt terrific. I almost forgot how much I love this part of the process. What a pleasurable way to be reminded.
And I have a note in my calendar to contact yet another writer tomorrow, someone who I met last fall who has a new book coming out in March. Can I interview you for my blog, I asked that day so many months ago, not realizing how much more his book (yeah, another guy in a tiara) would mean to me by the time we feature it here at WWW. Now, the very moment I am re-embracing these fundamental aspects of a writer's duties, up pops the reminder that I've committed to do this. To be a writer. To support other writers in multiple ways, in every way I can.