In most industries, we refer to those who are doing the same kind of work that we are as our competitors. The aim is to get more attention on your own work and less attention on theirs. It appears to be the total opposite when it comes to creative arts, such as writing. It is our best interest to help our “competitors”.
A Success Story
My video had just finished uploading. I clicked the buttons to share it on several social media sites and leaned back in my chair. I had just released the latest episode of my youTube series - reviewing a book called Synchronic - 13 Tales of Time Travel. I'd lost a little momentum recently due to sickness but was now back on track.
When I checked the next morning I was surprised to see I gained over 40 views while I slept. This was about the same amount that my previous episode had gained in almost two months. I also had a record number of "likes". We're not talking big numbers here, but it was a significant difference.
Mutual Benefit and Community
Why did this particular video fare better than average? Was it particularly well-produced? Had I latched onto a topic that everyone was already talking about? No. So what was it? The book I was reviewing was an indie title, with 13 contributing authors. One of those authors, who I happened to be connected with on Twitter shared it for me. Then another of the authors shared it with all his fans on Facebook and Twitter, tagging all the other authors involved in the project.
I had helped them by giving a positive review for their book, but they had helped me by sharing my video with a bunch of book lovers who would otherwise never have seen it. We helped each other. This kind of mutually beneficial assistance is common in the indie fiction world. It works nicely. Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn calls it Social Karma. We Christians often don't like to use the 'K' word, but all she really means here is that when we help our fellow content creators, we find ourselves getting helped as well. There is a community that builds up. When we help each other, we all win.
I have found that the same helpful culture that exists in the indie fiction world also exists in the Australian Christian fiction industry. There is a wonderful community that is so welcoming of both the experienced author and the growing wannabe. I have been surprised by the help, support and encouragement I have received along my journey.
All of this reminds me of Proverbs 11:25 "A generous person will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."
What do you think?
Do you have any success stories to share? Have you ever experienced a situation where you felt like you were in competition with another author or artist?Photo credit: prixel creative
Adam Collings is a writer of speculative fiction and video blogger. He is actively working toward becoming a published author. He lives in Tasmania, Australia. Adam discusses books and movies on his youTube series Stories. You can find Adam on-line at collingszone.wordpress.com or his Google+ Profile