Friday, May 20, 2011

Secrets from Professional Writers (Part 9 of 10)

9. We reach out to other writers.

Thirty years ago, Suzanne refused to help another writer because "she'll become my competition." I didn't agree then; I strongly disagree today.

I believe in the principle of giving ourselves freely, and sharing what we know. I don't think of others as my competition. I think of them as other writers who are trying to sell what they write. I want to help.

Here's my favorite verse that's not from the Bible: Yea, the Lord shoveleth it in; I shoveleth it out; and behold, the Lord hath a larger shovel (Jubilations 4:4).

To the fearful and insecure, it may sound outrageous to give away what we've worked hard to learn. But it really works the other way. I'm a giver and I like to give. As I examine my writing career, every upward step I've taken has come about because someone else opened the door. My first book publisher and my first agent came because someone else opened the door. In both instances, the help was from individuals I had helped but never expected any return.

Professionals know that. They enjoy sharing what they know and giving to others. That puts them in a position to receive from others.

We receive by giving; we grow by sharing.

6 comments:

  1. Oh, Cec. I'm off to the book store to look for a Bible with Jubilations in it! But your advice is sound, and has been proven true so many times. Thanks for the way you share.

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  2. Thanks for practicing what you preach, Cec. You've blessed so many, and if I'm interpreting your verse correctly, you've been blessed above and beyond. It must be so painful and lonely for those who wrap themselves up in the cords of their own knowledge. I hear the whispers of Suzanne's thinking sometimes; I do my best to send them back where they belong.

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  3. Cec, I'm relatively new to the writer's world. My entrance came not as a dream. That I've lived for almost 13 years--"A wife and a mother." But in 2003, something different happened. Circumstances. People. Bible studies. Spiritual "mothers." And that night--the call--the evening my pen scratched out six pages of revelation in my purple floral journal. I will never forget it. I will also never forget you and the wonderful authors that help other writers. Lysa TerKeurst. Mary DeMuth. And my soon-to-be Metochoi coach, Lorraine Pintus, to name a few. Even when unaware that you're under watch (that sounds so CIA!), I'll speak personally, I have noticed. So, with deep gratitude I say, "Thank you." Furthermore, I consider it a pure joy to pray collectively for the voices of the Christian writers' "world." We are on the SAME TEAM! We possess the blessed privilege to serve as mouthpieces for THE WORD. To advance God's kingdom. To show and tell others how to abundantly live! Thus, whether by dream or call or anything in-between, may we fill our minds with truth to flood our hearts, and overflow from our mouths "Jubilations." And to God be all the praise and honor and glory and power forever, AMEN!

    Love in Christ,
    http://todaysladyvirtue.blogspot.com/

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  4. Ooh I love the quote from Jubilations!
    What you say here is so true, Cec. I would not be a writer today if it wasn't for the generosity of you and many others (of time, finances and knowledge). The more I reach out to help other writers, the more I receive blessings in return. That's just how it works!

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  5. I agree with you, Cec, and I love your quote from Jubilations. Thank you for your great blog.

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  6. Cec, you are such a wonderful example of generosity and extending God's grace. Thank you for pouring into my life. I appreciate it.
    Nan

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