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Warning: Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody.
You started writing to create characters, not to hang around them. Didn’t you buy all those writing gadgets so you could be comfortable while avoiding other people? Nevertheless, being an author means you sometimes must leave the comfort of your writing space and face the trials and tribulations of human social interaction.
The best part of being a writer is being a part of the writing community. Lots of authors say this, and some of them even mean it. But like any community, you have to be a good citizen if you want the group to accept you. I contend that writers have a social contract, a set of guidelines, expected behaviors, and obligations writers are held to in order to create a thriving, vibrant writing community. These rules have never been formally written down, but we have all tacitly agreed to them as being effective standards of good behavior, and you disregard them at your own peril. As a writer, here’s what you’re signed up for:
By adhering to the writerly social contract, you’ll strengthen the entire writing community. The group’s success is your success. And the more you do for others, the more they’ll want to do for you. In short, the important thing is that you want to collect favors owed you like you’re Don Corleone. Then one day, you’ll have collected enough favors and become so successful that you’ll never have to see these people again.
What are the unwritten rules that you think should be part of the social contract for writers? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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About Bill FerrisAfter college, Bill Ferris left Nebraska for Florida to become a rich and famous rock star. Failing that, he picked up the pen to become a rich and famous novelist. He now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with his wife, Jen, and his sons, Elliott and Wyatt, and he looks forward to a life of poverty and ridicule.Web | Twitter | More Posts
Writing was developed independently in Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, and among the Maya in Central America. There are some areas where the question as to whether writing was adopted or independently developed is in doubt, as at Easter Island.