Monday, November 27, 2006

WWF for Writers

Are writers like wrestlers, battling it out for a spot on the bestseller list? Should WWF stand for World Writers Federation?

Of course, there's competition. The more sales you have, the more money you eventually get. The more sales you have, the greater your chances of getting a contract for the second, third, fourteenth book. And so on.

But that certainly doesn't mean that writers should (or do) duke it out (literally or figuratively). Some of the most generous people I know are writers. Years ago, when I went to the world mystery convention, Bouchercon, in St. Paul, Jan Grape (great author and the woman who knows everyone in the mystery field) "mentored" me by introducing me to people and taking me to events I wouldn't have known about otherwise.

Hone your craft, write your best, keep practicing. The only person you should be in competition with is yourself. If you learn of a contest or know of an agent looking for new clients or whatever, does it increase your chances if you keep it to yourself? Not really. Either your work is good enough to win the contest or it's not. Either the agent will love your manuscript and offer representation, or he won't.

Remember, what goes around, comes around.

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