By Keith N Fisher
Along with James Dashner writing an article in the current issue of Writer’s Digest, I crossed a threshold. He was one of the published authors I met at the first writer’s conference I attended. I feel vested in his success because I knew him before the Thirteenth Reality.
While on a family campout, I impressed one of my relatives with the fact I’d met Brandon Sanderson. Of course meeting him was a big deal, but he’s just a normal guy who happens to write popular fiction.
Everyone in my critique group is published. So, when someone talks about one of those authors and the books they’ve written, It’s fun for me to remember their books coming to critique group. I don’t try to impress anyone, however, most people don’t really believe I know those authors anyway.
Have you ever heard the statement, it’s not what you know, but who you know? I have a friend who went to a very popular national conference. The event is geared toward fans, but authors, publishers, and agents have a place, too. My friend met some powerful people in the business who are now helping with her career.
It’s a good feeling to attend a writer’s event and be recognized by famous people. To have them call me by name and ask about my work is precious. In a business with so much inherent competition, that seems strange, but the industry is full of nice people. Perhaps, the pay it forward or the give back theories are partly responsible. I think, however, it’s a personality trait. Whatever inspires people to write also makes them kind.
Yes there have been exceptions, but you will find them in every rule.
As I look back on my experiences with writers, I’m humbled by the acts of selflessness. I’ve seen anonymous helping hands extended toward struggling writers. I’ve seen people taken under wings and careers built on an introduction. I’m blessed to know so many nice people and I hope to measure up.
Good luck with your writing—see you next week.