Ask not what other writers can do for you…
So, you’ve been toiling for months, for years even, honing your craft and skills to finally write something that will be appreciated by someone besides your family and friends. You’ve read numerous books written by authors to improve your own stories. You’ve read even more books to dissect what makes a good story, some more than once, until you finally feel like you have a grasp on storytelling.
A magazine editor likes your story. They want to publish it. And at this point, you don’t even care that you won’t get paid for it. It’s a writing credit; that magical phrase you are now entitled to put at the bottom of your query letter that proves to everyone that you are a good writer. Congratulations! It’s time to celebrate. After all, you’ve put tons of hours into this accomplishment.
But, now what?
How about all those other struggling writers who haven’t yet hit that milestone? Those people who are still honing their craft, discouraged, ready to give up, wondering why they’re even writing at all, who have yet to receive that needed assurance that they really are a good writer.
As the saying goes, if you help enough people get what they want, you’ll get what you want, too. There are many writers out there who need to hear that encouraging word that you published a story, signed with an agent, or sold your book to a big publishing house. We all need to hear these things, to know that this dream we share is a possibility; a reality that is attainable; a goal that can be reached.
In fact, I’ll take it a step further: it is ever writer’s obligation to share with others these wonderful moments. Even the small things, like when a query letter is answered by a personal rejection, if only to let someone else know that editors and agents do actually read them. Like all those writers who have come before you paving the way with their lessons, their blood, sweat, and tears, which have encouraged you to keep writing, it is your turn to pay it forward and share what you have learned and accomplished with those following the well-trodden path to writing success.