Today's tip is going to be a bit different. It's less about editing, and more about how to survive as a writer. Writing can be a daunting, solitary career. It's draining. Time-consuming. Often, writers are surrounded by family and friends who don't quite understand what they're doing, how hard it is, and why in the world they won't settle down for a normal career.
That's why you need writer friends. The emotional support writer friends provide is precious. If you watch online interactions between writers, you'll often see something magical happening. Writers reaching out and helping those around them and behind them, taking time to teach and mentor and pass on knowledge.
So here's today's tip:
Pay it forward.
Help the other writers you see around you. Make friends. Offer support when someone feels like quitting. Be a shoulder when someone needs to cry. Give a scared, talented friend a push when they need it.
Because this community will embrace you, and do the same for you.
In the spirit of paying it forward, I'd like to share two stories with you all about two past PitchWars mentors in need of help.
First up is Derek Chivers. Derek joined the team last year as a much-needed adult SFF mentor. His humor and helpfulness were immediately evident to those of us looking for mentors in that category. He embraced the idea of giving back and helping others along.
Derek sadly passed away suddenly, leaving behind his wife and two young daughters. They had recently moved and were still job-hunting, so money for hospital and funeral expenses has been tight. If you feel like giving, the family's GoFundMe campaign is here: https://www.gofundme.com/ChiverFamily
Second is Clarissa Goenawan. Clarissa is an amazing Indonesian writer from Singapore, who joined the PitchWars team last year as well. Clarissa loves to help boost other under-represented authors. Clarissa's husband was hit by a car a few days ago as he was walking on the side of the road. He's going to need brain surgery, and his doctors don't know how much functionality he's going to recover.
Clarissa's first novel, RAINBIRDS, just came out at the beginning of March. She's had to cancel all her promotional efforts for the book so that she can be with her husband. As a writer, can you imagine? We all dream for years of publishing our first books, and she can't enjoy that experience because of this tragedy. And if her first book bombs, it could affect the rest of her career. So other authors are stepping up to help promote Clarissa's book.
If you'd like to help, you could share her story, buy her book, share the link to her book on Amazon, or contribute to her GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/clarissaandchoo.
I know many of you won't be able to give, and that's okay. Some of you may not want to, and that's okay too. It's hard sometimes to help out people you have no connection to. But the bigger point I hope you take away, whether you get involved with these two cases or not, is that the writing community is about more than just writing. It's about helping each other out, because we've all been there. If you're lucky enough to have a group of writer friends who can talk you off a ledge when you need it, then pay it forward. Help someone else out the next time you see a writer in need of some advice or a friendly reply. Because writing isn't a race to see who gets there first. It's a marathon, with a giant picnic party at the end, and you want to have friends to hang out with along the way and once you finally get to the party.
Every Wednesday we bring you an edit tip of the day and on Mondays throughout the summer a series of SHOW DON'T TELL workshops!