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Get Good: Staying Distant

A lot of people ask how to become a better writer, reach more readers with marketing, and just how to be an author in general. My advice is to maintain a professional distance from the other authors in your life.

Let me explain. Most authors these days will run in fellow writer circles. You will have them in your friends list on facebook, follow them on instagram, maybe spy on their tweets. Let's not lie and say it's 100% for supporting each other because let's face it: a lot of authors are not supporting each other. I do my best though. I have bought 3 ebooks and one physical book this year from my publisher because the books interested me. I shared links, gave reviews--all that jazz. But we follow other authors to see what they are doing and how they are doing it. Do that. But stay back.

What I mean by stay back is don't get too involved. I have met some divine writer's through the anthologies I am in and ones who share my publisher. I like most of them. But I think authors can get too close sometimes. They let things in each other's personal lives infect their professional ones. The temptation comes from 1) writers being lonely types and 2) writer's finally meeting other people who share their job. It's fun to hang out with people who understand you! But I suggest remembering that not everyone is a cute fellow munchkin.

Follow other authors to see how they advertise, what they are writing, and show some support but remember that this is all of our's dream and some might get ruthless. I don't want to say that all authors are like the scenario in Mean Girls but some are. They are looking for your weakness. They might want to shoot you down. This comes from the misunderstanding that another author will take away your readers. They won't. They probably weren't your readers in the first place. If you go after another author (generally in a passive aggressive facebook post kind of way) you have gotten too close. What other authors say about you should not infect you. If you maintain a professional distance, it won't matter. And don't retaliate. Be there to get the job done and find ideas and stay current.

Good luck, pirates!

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