Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Compassion II

I had my next 'C' word post all done and ready.... until I went to my writers' class today.

I wrote a blog post about compassion and paying-it-forward. Today I was hit again by something that surprises me. Something that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

One of the class remarked that she was giving away her secrets by telling us something of her publishing route. I sat, dumbfounded. I've been told hundreds of times that writers are a different breed. They are generous to a fault. I didn't see any generosity today. I am hoping that this is not something SCBWI condones. The woman is an SCBWI member.

I am a neophyte in this business. I suppose once you have an agent or a publisher you want to keep them close. You want to protect the relationship you have. You want them to promote and sell your books. 

Wouldn't your relationship be better if you showed them that you had their interests at heart, too? That if you gave them the name of a prospective client it would make you look good? And help them. Wouldn't they remember your kindness and loyalty and reciprocate? 

I have always lived in the clouds. I suppose this is another down-side of that, but I can't live that way. As you've noticed, I try to share what I can on this insane journey. 

Another classmate won a contest at a conference. I was so happy for her. She wondered how she might use that to get her poetry piece (which was quite good) published. I suggested we all find a publisher or magazine or whatever and share it with her. I reasoned that if each one of us (there are 6 students) found a 'contact' for her, it would be a nice gesture. She is, after all, a classmate, and a friend. The instructor, I thought, looked surprised.

But isn't that what we're supposed to do? Help each other? There are truckloads of books being published yearly by the big publishers and there are truckloads of little publishers needing authors. Are we really shooting ourselves in the foot if we 'share' our fortune? 

I'm still kind of shook by the experience.

Life is a surprise. 

PS - reminds me of the Jackie Deshannon song, Put A Little Love in Your Heart

PS - I promise I'll post the next 'C' word tomorrow. Unless something else comes up *g*


  1. I am in that class...the one with no cell phone right now. I noticed the same thing you did..I guess I didn't think either that we were 'competition'...if that's the case why do we meet? why do we share our souls in our writing? I agree with you and welcomed the idea of helping a fellow writer. Don't ever change dear heart...:)

  2. Sometimes I think I imagine things. This time, it was quite apparent. I'm truly hoping that this case is one in a million. You keep writing, dear heart, you are awesome! Besides that - our teacher shares. And that is a good thing. I've learned a truckload from her.

  3. I've found that some authors are very generous with help and others are misers.

  4. It will all come back to haunt us, one way or the other. I'd rather be haunted by happy ghosts. *g*