As a writer, I strive to create work that will be successful. I write for myself, yes, but I’d be lying if I claimed I don’t care what other people think. We all hope our writing will be read by many and praised by all. It doesn’t matter if you’re a blogger, poet, short story writer or author.
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Whether I’m writing prose or blogging, if I choose to share my work with others, I want them to like it. I also want a lot of people to read it, to increase the number of people who will appreciate what I’ve written. In this digital age, I rely on shares, likes and comments on social media outlets.
So, I have to hope that someone will read my work, like it enough that they will share it, and then more people will see and read it. In a way, this process is out of my control and that can be stressful.
All writers understand this struggle—the struggle to reach an audience and gain popularity. We know how difficult it is to market our content online, whether it exists digitally or on paper. This is one of the many commonalities that form the bond of the writing community.
This is why I think it’s so important for writers to support other writers. Since all writers know how hard it is to get our work out there, why don’t we help each other? There are many great examples of writers promoting other writers’ work on a small and large scale, and I think it’s great.
Here’s a large-scale example. John Green, best-selling author of The Fault in our Stars and Looking for Alaska, promotes another writer’s novel on Twitter:
John has over four million Twitter followers; Ta-Nehisi Coates has few than 200,000.
As you can see from the re-tweets and favorites, there is a good amount of engagement on this post. With this tweet, John introduced this book to an audience that probably includes thousands of people who wouldn’t know about the book otherwise. This is a big deal for Mr. Coates. All it took was 140 characters or less to help out a fellow author in a big way.
Not all of us are lucky enough to have as large of a following as John Green, but the same idea applies on the small scale. Even if sharing an article from your favorite blog means one new person visits the site, you’ve helped that blogger.
If you only have 50 Twitter followers and you tweet about a great poem you just read, then 50 more people know about that poem. Wouldn’t you be excited if a fellow writer got your work out to a new audience?
Engage with other writers. Be an active part of the writing community. By sharing the writing of others, fellow writers will be inclined to share your work, too! The writing community is a two-way street. If nothing else, you can feel good about helping others.
Lexi Bollis is a student at Kenyon College pursuing an English major with an emphasis in Creative Writing and a double minor in Music and Mathematics. You can find her other writing at Miss Millenia Magazine, Her Campus Kenyon and Geek Insider.Lexi Bollis