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Whether a Borrower or a Lender


Only lenders make a profit from loaning out any product. Most of the time, the product is money. As we know, borrowers have to pay a loan back, with interest.

Oddly, within the writing biz, that rule doesn’t apply. Each day thousands of writers borrow from each other, with permission. The lender, many times, gains only satisfaction from knowing that something they have learned has gone on to someone else. The process is a kind of benevolent Round Robin.

It works something like this:

I learn about a new market opening up to submission that had previously been agented manuscripts only. (Where did I learn it? The publisher will have sent out a notification to various media sources.) I send out the word to all of those writers I personally deal with on a regular basis. Those writers post the info for all of their followers to use or not. And so on down the line.

Writers use blogs, Twitter, Google +, Facebook, She Writes Network, BlogHer Network, Jacketflap Network, Branch Out Network, LinkedIn Network, and several others to form our circles. We talk to each other, giving and receiving information daily. Anyone who wants such info can download it, save it, use it, and/or pass it on. It wouldn’t be presumptuous to expect it to blanket the globe in a matter of hours.

Writers are an info-hungry group of people and we’re everywhere.

Providing Information for Free

The reason we perform this service for each other is simple. We know how difficult this business is to establish a career. At the same time the work can get frenzied to maintain such a career. No one outside the writing circle can really help any of us, unless that help comes in the form of a commission of some kind or additional information.

By communicating with one another, writers pass information around like bon bons. Little markets today can springboard a career next year. We remember those who’ve kindly passed on publishing info, and we reciprocate.

We promote each other with contests and giveaways, all in an effort to help another writer to broaden the audience pool for a new book or blog. We share information to ensure that everyone is on the same playing field. I’ve met very few greedy or selfish writers, but I can’t begin to count those who’ll share their last market with someone who’s run into a seemingly insurmountable genre wall.

Also, we’re an eager bunch concerning solicited and unsolicited assistance or advice about regarding the craft or marketing. We feel one another’s rejection pangs and celebrate successful submissions. We care about how others’ writing lives are going.

Borrowing and Lending

With tens of thousands of us out there, one would think that we’d overload the consumer ability to read the volumes written on any given subject. After all, we roam freely in the world, passing around all of this information. That’s the beauty of this business.

Communications research has shown that regardless of how strenuously a person tries to pass on a bit of information, misinterpretation and impaired hearing will change that info from one person to the next. The same holds true for writers but with a twist. Writers are individuals who interpret all information in numerous slants.

I can go to a town, for instance, gather information about it, its inhabitants, industry, etc. and have photos of that place. If I think about that place for more than ten minutes, I’ll have ten different angles with which to use the same information. That’s how I was taught to think about travel writing.

From that same information I could also pull the basis for ten more, non-travel writing, and articles for additional markets. It begins with how one extrapolates the information received. That same principle applies to shared info with other writers.

Writer X could use the exact info to write an expose—given additional research. Writer Y could see the same info and write a children’s story using the non-fiction components. Writer Z could use the information for the basis for an interview with an expert on the subject. And Writer Z could go on, based on her expert’s replies and information, to write additional articles about specific portions of gained knowledge and its impact on something else.

End Result

We don’t express our mutual behaviors as borrowing or lending. We’ve established that information is given freely among writers. Some regularly collect specific types of information into packages and give those packages away to writers who want it in the form of weekly or monthly newsletters. How much more convenient can we make it for ourselves?

Competition does exist. The fact that we don’t get snarky with each other over a coveted marketing slot exhibits how most writers operate. Besides, that marketing coup could be mine next time. It will always belong to one of us.

The Writing Club of the World—better known as the Publishing Industry—is alive and well, and prospering because we take care of each other, with encouragement and needed assistance. How many other industries can say that?

  1. March 8, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    By communicating with one another, writers pass information around like bon bons. Little markets today can springboard a career next year. We remember those who’ve kindly passed on publishing info, and we reciprocate.

    I really like this powerful bit, Clauds. Good work. Blessings to you!

    • claudsy
      March 8, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      Thanks, Hannah. I know no writers who aren’t willing to share a source, a market, or a fact with other writers. Most will even share an opinion or two. I believe, in part, that’s what makes us writers.

      I’m glad you liked it.


      • March 8, 2012 at 9:14 pm

        Your welcome, you’re a generous writing soul! 🙂

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