"A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."
― Desmond Tutu
Writing is hard.
For real. Just sitting down and putting words on the page can be difficult. Top that with story lines that race through your head without mercy. They tease you, dancing around till you can't capture their perfection, only their essence.
Then, you finally get the words down. You edit till you bleed. You wrap it up and send it to your editor who cuts you, er, your work some more. It's always just one more edit. Until it's done.
Then it's over. And you're alone again until the voices in your head start talking again.
Writing is hard.
It's a lonely process that involves one human and a massive imagination. Medication won't help this particular insanity, but a tiny bit of support can.
This is where many of us come up short. Sometimes we label our fellow writers as competition rather than companions. This ultimately hurts us more than it does the others because after you spend months, nay, years, working with yourself-and your invisible characters-you put your book baby out into the world and watch in helplessness as it tries to swim. It needs support.
Fortunately, there are a few easy ways we writers can help each other.
1. Promote. Post someone else's work on your social media.
2. Review. I can't say enough about reviews. They are essential in this world. Everyone wants to know what they're getting into before they spend that $3.99 on your book. Take a moment and review a fellow author's work, honestly, but thoroughly. It counts for more than you know.
3. Advocate. Our writing is as diverse as we are. We don't all know everything that's out there. We need someone watching our backs.
4. Let it go. Stress is a silent killer and one sure way to foster its growth is to spend way too much time watching what someone else is doing. Someone has better sales than you? Has more reviews than you? Has better reviews than you? It stings but it's no reflection on you. It's better for your health if you cheer them on.
5. Encourage. See a struggling writer? Drop them a word of encouragement and see how much better you feel. It only takes a minute, but it's so worth the time. Teamwork makes the dream work.
6. Write it out. Write out the discouragement, the fear, the worries and the disappointments. Write hard, write fast. Chances are someone else is dealing with the same thing and your words can soothe, maybe even heal.These are those who pen the books that you love the most.
Being a writer can be a choppy ride, but it's worth it. Our thoughts and words will be deciphered by new generations when they are studying our civilization. It's a record not only of one. It's you. It's me. It's all of us.
When you think of it like that, maybe writing is really not that hard.