I almost never have enough time to write. I’ve been sitting on an unedited novel for over a year. I barely manage to write one or two chapters of my serial novel every month. I have hundreds of unfinished stories sitting on my computer and on scraps of paper.
There is nothing unique about my situation. All writers are like this. Why do we get so far behind? Is it distraction? The hustle and bustle of daily life? Why can’t we just be more self-consumed and get our writing finished?
I think the answer is simple: when you become a writer, you become part of something much bigger than yourself. Being a writer isn’t just about self-promotion and writing as many words per day as we can. It’s about supporting other writers and sharing everything we can.
Say what you want about the evils of social media (it’s a huge distraction, it’s brought down our ability to communicate, it weakens real relationships, it destroys lives, blah blah blah…), but it can really help bring people together. Without social media, the writing community as we know it certainly would not have the same power.
A few weeks ago, I learned that my good friend and fellow writer Eddy Rathke had been scammed out of virtually all of his money. As soon as I saw his post on Facebook about the scam, I knew I had to do something to help him. At first, I just made a vague offer of “Let me know if you need anything.” Honestly though, how many people ever take advantage of an offer like that? Was Eddy supposed to say, “Hey, man, that’s great. Can I have $2000 to get back on my feet?” And what would I have done if he actually said that?
Then, an idea started brewing in my head. I knew it was time to call the writing community, via social media of course, and make this a combined effort. So I suggested to Eddy that we launch an Indiegogo campaign centered around an anthology about scamming and revenge. We were surely never going to find the actual scammer, but we would get our revenge through what we did best; we would write about it.
Within fifteen minutes of posting a call for contributors, over twenty authors had contacted me saying they wanted to write something to help out Eddy (check out the full list of authors here). Another batch of authors said they couldn’t write anything by the deadline but would be happy to help in another way. Some donated books. Ryan Bradley designed some incredible artwork and offered a hand-painted version as one of the campaign perks.
Some of the authors who volunteered are pretty big names with a lot on their plates already. Some knew Eddy and what a great guy he is. Others knew nothing about Eddy but wanted to lend a hand to a fellow writer.
We launched the campaign about four days after organizing all of the perks and authors for the anthology. We hit the $1000 mark within the first two days. This generous outpouring shows just how strong the writing community is. Although we sometimes want to crawl into a hole and do nothing but write for ourselves, we are willing to put all of our plans on hold to help out each other.
With the holidays approaching, life seems more and more hectic. Adding the organization and editing of an anthology to my plate might not seem like the smartest thing to do, but I know it’s time to pay my dues to a writing community that has given me so much. When one of our own is struggling, we have to jump in and help out.
Please, find a way to contribute to the campaign to support Eddy. Even if you don’t know Eddy, you will be helping out the writing community as a whole. You’ll also get an amazing anthology out of it, featuring some of the hottest names in indie fiction right now.