In the hustle and bustle of the modern world where in many cases to get on and get ahead one needs to be completely ruthless, it is a marvel that writers do not see other writers as competition.
There is enough space for everyone.
I know this because firstly it is true and secondly, when ever I meet up with other writers one of the first things they want to know is how you are doing, what you are writing and how well sales and so on are going. I have never heard anyone say, “oh no, you are taking my audience away from me”. Never, never never have I heard that or seen an attitude from another writer that means that.
So, why is this? I am not sure to be honest, but one of the things may well be that just about every writer knows what it is like to be “starting out” and searching for that deal, or the readership to get themselves noticed, some sales and a following. No one just sends something off and hey presto a week later they have a massive cheque to cash. It isn’t like that.
Writers therefore have an empathy for other writers and I know that when I am at writing conferences or writers’ gatherings there is such a desire to help fellow writers that if that was transferred to world politics, I am sure there would be a far greater distribution of the worlds resources and so on that there wouldn’t be a fraction of the conflict and suffering that we have on our planet today as there is.
Writers get their “aggression and angst” out by creating great characters, both good and bad and killing off those that deserve to be killed or culled in the name of the story. Although I would confess that sometimes when a long standing character is to be “killed off” I often think that the writer has killed off the wrong one, but that may be just me and my sense of mischievousness coming out.
But, back to the topic at hand, I do not know a writer who thinks that the next person is their competition. There is a big enough audience out there for everyone and if one writer gets success they often act as a catalyst for others to get “pulled along” too.
One of the things that writers do is to read a lot and in doing so support other writers. So, the best thing you could do for a writer is to buy their book and post a review on one of the well known forums or websites. It will give them a boost and in doing so will also support other writers somewhere down the line.
And let’s be honest, most writers have “normal/proper jobs” as well as their writing. They work long hours in pursuit of their craft and a well placed review or support for your local writer would be very much appreciated.