Are you familiar with Rachel Hollis, author of the book Girl, Wash Your Face?
The other day I was listening to the audiobook, and Rachel told the story about her traveling with a group of friends to San Francisco so they could run a half marathon.
And while Rachel is an avid (and quite competitive) runner, this time she wasn’t racing. She went along on the trip simply to cheer her friends on.
The day didn’t start out so well. Wandering the (outrageously hilly) streets of San Francisco, Rachel finally found the finish line just before the first runners showed up. Tired, grumpy, and coffee-deprived, she questioned her decision to act as cheerleader.
But then then runners started arriving.
As she watched them striving to reach the finish line, before she realized it, she found herself cheering her brains out. Not just for her friends, but for every random person who had chosen to lace up their shoes and run the 13.1 mile race that day.
And as she witnessed the gazelle-like elite runners cross the finish line, and observed the thrill and pride of her friends as they finished their first race, and watched another friend achieve a personal best time, Rachel experienced something transcendent.
Her heart overflowed with joy, and the overwhelming emotions coursing through her body made it feel as if her friends’ achievements were her own.
And in a moment of supreme clarity, she understood how much she would have missed that day if she had instead run the race herself. “Imagine all of the things you would have missed today if you’d only been out here for yourself,” said the voice in her head.
Cheer Others On As if Their Success is Your Own
One of the reasons I started this blog was because I was so inspired by the community of support I discovered when I attended my first writer’s conference.
(For more on embracing the mindset of seeing other authors as supporters rather than competitors, check out my previous post How to Be Happy For Another Author’s Success).
I watched as successful authors shared stories of their rocky roads to publication, of their trials and triumphs, who made us feel those triumphs could soon be part of our own futures as well.
I saw the genuine happiness others felt when learning that someone else had landed an agent, or a publishing contract, or had a successful book launch.
I saw how the group would take news of one person’s success as an indication that it was just a matter of time before that success would be everyone else’s as well.
It was incredibly inspiring and uplifting.
Imagine what the world would be like if we all viewed the achievements of our friends, neighbors, and random strangers as evidence of the abundance and opportunities that exist for us all.
That’s the world I want to live in.
To that end, I encourage you to support your fellow author. Do what you can to help boost other people’s books, guide others on their journey, and cheer them on as loudly as your kid’s tug-of-war team on field day.
Here are my top eleven suggestions for ways you can support your fellow children’s book authors:
- Promote other authors’ work
- Buy their books, check them out from the library (or request them if your library doesn’t carry them), read them
- Write reviews of other people’s books
- Post them on book selling sites as well as on social media
- Follow each other on social media
- Comment on their posts, retweet, share, and like them
- Participate in writer events
- These include chats on social media, writer contests, and giveaways.
- Plus, you might even win a free book, cool swag, or a critique!
- Guest post on other authors’ blogs
- Share the post with your own audience so you both expand your reach
- Offer tips and suggestions whenever you can
- Answer questions people post on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (or any social media platform). Give them your best advice.
- Cheer on other people’s good news
- Hug them, high-five them (either in real life or virtually). Send them chocolate.
- Attend conferences and classes
- These are often led by other authors. You can learn some valuable lessons and support them at the same time.
- Offer giveaways, especially to teachers and librarians
- There’s a special place in heaven for teachers and librarians—show them the love! Plus, they are often your biggest fans.
- Critique other people’s work with thoughtful, useful feedback
- Not only will you be helping your fellow writers, you also hone your own skills when you do critiques
- Be inspired and see others’ success as evidence that your day is coming
- Because it is! Just keep going and you will get there!
The great thing about supporting your fellow authors is how much you get back in return. There is no way I would have stepped out of my comfort zone (actually it was more like tip-toeing) without the support and encouragement of other writers.
So keep cheering on the kidlit community. Keep reading their books, writing reviews, helping them over hurdles, and just being an overall giving person.
You will find it all comes back to you ten-fold. A million-fold.
What better way is there to celebrate your success then surrounded by others who share your joy?
If you want to keep learning and exploring how to keep growing your career as a kidlit author, sign up below and let’s be email friends!