I want all authors to take a deep breath. And then let it out. Take another and let it out. One more time, breathe with me.
I feel it’s been very difficult for some authors out there to be good author friends. Or, perhaps they are only good author friends to authors who fit a certain criteria. Either way, I want to help you realize your potential as a good author friend. Good author friends don’t go around bashing other authors or their readers to their author friends. They don’t go whispering about their secrets. Good author friends support and help lift their author friends to reach their potential.
Think of it in terms of climbing Mt. Everest. You can’t do it alone. You need a team. You need a guide. You need good people around you to help you get as far up as you can go, and if you’re in any kind of danger, you need the type of people around you that will yank on your rope and say “Hey man, not that way. That way leads to danger and death.” Danger and Death mean bashing other authors or your readers.
I keep seeing all these posts about authors behaving badly and it just hurts. There’s plenty of fucking sand in the box, folks. Everyone can play. It doesn’t matter who is successful and can quit their day job and who can’t. It doesn’t matter who scored that advance and contract and who didn’t. What matters is that you did what you could to help your author friend to achieve their goal.
Being a good author friend means helping not hurting.
I love helping my author friends. I love conversing with them on Twitter. I enjoy being at the Facebook Parties. Even if I don’t know who they really are, I know that I am helping them possibly make a sale or gain a reader. I enjoy bringing people into the Twitter Tribe (also known as my Coffee Crew and other fun names). It doesn’t even matter if you write completely different genres or for different reasons. I have a friend who has a religious blog and occasionally gives a sermon. I read and edit her sermons and I’m not a religious person at all. I learn some things when reading her sermons. I let her know what’s too wordy or too ambiguous (which may just be me since I don’t study religion the way she does). I don’t judge her for being a religious writer and she doesn’t judge me for writing smut – which she’s also read.
Being a good author friend means being there for authors. If an author is behaving badly… if they are treating other authors like their hard work doesn’t matter as much as theirs, and they treat their readers like they are stupid and didn’t get what they were trying to say – let it go because it will bite them in the ass.