by Willa Blair
We’ve come from different walks of life. Different cities and states. Different schools. Different experiences. But somehow, we’ve all wound up here together, with one important thing in common.
Pre-published, published, multi-published, fiction of all varieties, non-fiction, too. We’ve had one goal in mind, some of us for most of our lives: to become a published author.
Along the way, there may have been parents who read to us, teachers who helped us perfect language skills, and librarians who guided us to the stack of books we read under the covers with a flashlight long after lights-out. We found authors whose books we loved, even a few books we wished we’d written, and we thought, I want to do that, to be that. An author.
More recently, there have been writers groups like this one, critique partners, online organizations and chapters, workshops, classes, hundreds of ways to hone our craft and learn from each other.
We’re writers. We’re a society of writers. And like any society, there are those who are further along on the path we tread. They’re the ones we emulated and learned from. Then there are those who follow behind, still gaining experience. We may still feel like wet-behind-the-ears beginners, but to those following us, we’re the sages, the wise ones who’ve been there, done that, and have stories to tell.
The society of writers, or in modern parlance, the network, sustains us in ways we take for granted. Few of us get here alone. And once here, none of us remain alone. Even as we sit solitary in front of our computer screens, we connect with each other through social networking sites, blogs, emails, even phone calls. When we meet face-to-face, we overstay the allotted time because we have so much to share and to learn.
And like the ones who taught us, we pay it forward. We write, we meet, we teach each other. We share our hard-won wisdom, great and small, about how to write, to be a writer, and to prosper in this business.
“Pay it forward” has become a cliché, but it’s a good one. It’s what we do. What others have done for us. It’s a large part of how we got here and how we stay here. Supporting each other with our wisdom.
So what can we do to pay it forward?
Here are a few questions for you to answer – either here in comments or just to yourself.
How do you pay it forward?
What would you recommend for others who want to be more active in our society of writers?
What’s the next thing you’re going to DO?
Find me a www.willablair.com.