I read this article a while back and I've been thinking about it for a long time. (Link at the end.) It's 5 signs you are a writer, and 3 that you're not.
The one that stuck out most to me was #3 on the "why you're not" list. I see it a lot and it makes me sad.
The best thing about writing and reading is that a reader can read a book by a different author every day for their whole life. A reader can support more than one author.
It’s a business that doesn’t have to be a competition.
And that in itself is rare.
There isn’t only one author's books that are “the only ones worth reading.” There are countless books by countless authors that are worth reading. There are countless styles of writing, countless topics and genres of books that have been, are being, and will be written. And readers will buy from several authors, or dozens of authors.
Readers who buy and read my books can and will also buy and read other author's books!
I'm not so arrogant to think that mine are the only books worth reading, because they aren't. But they most definitely are worth reading.
There is no reason why we can't support each other. We should happily share, with no expectations. Expectations will only lead to disappointment and hurt feelings, especially when the other person is unaware of them.
"I shared so-n-so's book, but they didn't share mine, I'll never share their stuff again!"
If you would like someone to share your book--then ask. It's as simple as that. Support others, because you want to show support for your fellow authors, not because you want something in return.
There's no reason to not support another author if you enjoy their books. Their success will not diminish yours. In fact, it may actually help you. A friend is more likely to help you out than a stranger.
Do you love an author? Do you have a friend that's an author? Go and pimp their books.
You don't have to take others down, or pretend they don't exist in order to build yourself up. Doing those things won't actually help you. This isn't a gladiator sport, so why do so many of us treat it like one?
Want to know what helps you? Having other author friends! Yes, it's true. You're an author and so are they. You can relate to each other in ways that non-writers can't.
You can share the little things that excite you, a funny line, the fact that you wrote THE END on the first draft (or final draft) of your current MS, you can talk about how to get through a scene that is giving you issues while staying true to the plot, subplots, or themes.
Your non-writer friends might not actually care. Or if they do care, they might not understand what the big deal is.
But your writer friends will.
Your writer friends will understand what it took to hit that milestone, and they will rejoice with you and truly understand every drop of blood, sweat and tears you shed.
You can help each other out. Maybe one of you is really good at graphics, maybe the other is good at promotion. Whatever it is, you can help boost yourself and them at the same time.
You should want your friends to succeed. Because they are your friends. But also, if they succeed and you've been a good friend, they will take you with them to the top. Unless they are a crappy friend, in which case, they probably dropped a few hints along the way that they suck as humans and you probably should have caught on.
But seriously, be a good friend, help each other. Because it doesn't have to me you or me, it can be both of us!
I recommend reading this blog post.