I have been sitting here, trying to come up with a clever title for this post, and wanting desperately to mention bras somewhere in the title. Why? Because that’s what I think about what I think about being lifted up and supported. You know what else I think about? Other writers.
(How’s that for a segue??)
There’s another contest going on right now, called Pitch Madness. During the first round of the contest, slush readers are trudging through the entries, narrowing the field down for slush round number two. While they are doing so, many of them are tweeting about their experience, pointing out general trends, giving tips for entries and opening paragraphs. This would be great in itself, because those are the sorts of quick tips that are helpful.
But here’s what really strikes me every time I sneak over to the #PitchMadness feed. Writers supporting writers. This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed it, but it still astonishes me every time. Maybe it shouldn’t. Writers tweeting out supportive messages, retweeting each other, wishing complete strangers good luck. I always gain new followers and receive messages of support during contests and Twitter pitch parties. And the thing is, these people really really genuinely want success for each other.
I think this is a phenomenon unique to the writing community. I can’t think of another community that is so supportive of its members. In every other area there is a sense of competition, of “I am better than you, but not as good as him.” Constantly comparing. (Not that this doesn’t happen in writing, but there’s a different quality to it.) It doesn’t matter if you write for adults or teens, if you write horror or romance, we relate to each other in very real ways. We are headed for the same goal, and want as many others to succeed in that goal as possible.
Even those who play on the same sports teams don’t always have this camaraderie. Coworkers who are doing the same job are often trying to one-up each other. Even in religions, people tend to try to be “more holy” or judge others for not doing things the “right” way, even as they are headed toward the same goal.
I don’t know why we are so judgy and critical of each other, why we have this constant need to be better than everyone else. Maybe it’s simply a side effect of being human. But it is so refreshing to be part of a community of writers who understand that there are many different ways to the same goal, and that each individual headed toward that goal has worth, and deserves success. After all, if we all did things the same way, life would be much more boring.