Here at FWJ we tend to be a happy, sharing, encouraging bunch. We look out for each other, congratulate each other and share info.
What about contacts? Some of my best and most lucrative gigs have come from a shared contact – an editor’s email, a forward of insider information and even better, a “you can use my name” when submitting a query.
These “hook ups” are essential to the writing community and sharing works best when it’s a two way street. I have a writing mentor that has boosted my career (and confidence) tremendously by shooting me a helpful email every now and then. And while she’s ahead on the sharing tally, I’ve been quick to send any new info I have her way as well. Others in the industry make me wonder.
I wonder if some writers sit and wait on a hook up instead of looking for their own road into a publication or gig. I’ve been in the uncomfortable situation of being really excited about a new gig and before I can write three words, a professional friend is asking for the editor’s info. Yikes!
There are times when you don’t want to be a writing snob, but you don’t want to damage your rep with an editor by introducing a friend who’s less than reliable on deadlines. Then there’s the whole one-way issue. I’ve had someone flat out say “Hook me up with a gig.” This same person regularly checks in on “what I’m working on.”
Um. Sorry. My magic gig tree is bare right now.
It’s not like I don’t want to share – I’ve got no problem with that, but there are times when I feel the need to establish a relationship with the editor before I start bringing my homies into the mix. And then there are other times when I just get sick of folks with severe cases of the “gimmies.” Gimme a name, a source, an email, an idea, a play-by-play on the writing game… I could go on and on.
But let me kick this back to the FWJ community – Do you share info? Are there writing vampires sucking the contacts out of you? How do you say no to a hook-up request?