I need you to know that I support you with every fiber of my being. I believe in your ability to learn with each new book you publish, to grow your audience, and to progressively improve upon your craft. I know you’ll push through the rough days where you think, brain no work-y, words no make-y. I know you’ll tear through the foe of Imposter Syndrome, exceed limiting expectations and prove all those wrong who deigned to doubt you.
But that’s just one part of creating a beautiful community of readers and writers, supporting each other, and sharing intricate stories, worlds beyond our own scope of imagination.
Without supporting each other, it’s every artist for themselves. A retweet might not seem like much, a share to your Instagram story may seem trivial and low on your list of priorities, but you’ll plant a seed of growth for another starving artist. When we plant these seeds, share each other’s stories and successes, we sow entire gardens. Our readers make bread from our wheat, which feeds their friends and families.
It’s a process, but when we all work together, we all eat.
This thought was prompted a few days ago when I noticed that a few mutuals of mine never support other creative people – not publicly anyway. They don’t shout-out their friends’ publication links or etsy shops. But when those people publish, they expect their closest friends to share their links. They start replying to everyone’s tweets in an effort to gain attention and traction for their own work, despite not doing exactly what they expect others to do for them.
I don’t believe in an eye for an eye in this community, but I do believe in supporting those I’ve seen work hard on their craft, putting their souls into their stories and paintings, translating their beliefs into art. I believe in supporting the people I know to have raw talent. I want to see these beautiful souls eat, even if it’s not at my table (thank you, Tupac).
What does it say about a person when they expect attention for their successes without doing the same thing for their friends?
It’s evident to me that this type of person doesn’t create for the purpose of passion and sharing a story within their mind that demanded to be told. They do it to make a quick buck (refer to my previous post). With a significant following, you could con a percentage into buying your book and pay for your groceries that week, but would you want to sacrifice integrity? Would you want to insult the reader with false advertising, or an undeveloped story with a flat plot line and cardboard characters? Could you live with yourself after putting your name on something like that, and expecting your friends to spread it like wildfire?
I have nothing of my own to promote other than a free serial chapter story on my BMAC page, but I can tell you, if I had a book properly published, I wouldn’t expect my friends to promote it if I wasn’t just as supportive of their hard work. Like I said, I want to see all of us eat. It’s disheartening when I see that isn’t a commonly held inclination.
1 thought on “Dear Indie Author”
I find it all a bit mind-boggling! A few weeks back I followed around 50 people, then I decided to start following writers (and got caught up in it); now I’m following around 1,000. My wall has gone from a carefully curated stream of humour and cool photos to all-out bedlam! I occasionally spot an old friend drifting past in the rapids, but before I can wave at them they’ve gone: drowned by churning waves of writers lists, GIFS (I hardly ever used to see GIFS), blog posts and book covers…
I’ve only myself to blame (and I’m not complaining). I’m just saying, it (Writer Twitter) can be daunting, at first—especially when you go mad adding writers—and maybe those people are just taking longer to get beyond that initial comfort zone of lurking on the sidelines? Perhaps you should consider writing a post about how you felt, initially, when you started getting involved? Was it daunting? Did you find it easy once you’d started? It may help inspire them to take that next step.