"Followed. Follow back, please." I and other fellow writers are probably just as sick of hearing those words as you are of typing them. Seriously. It's time for a new strategy because all that one does is make me NOT connect with you. Harsh? Possibly. Necessary? Yes.
Don't Make Demands or Expectations
If I see words of expectations or demands in comments on my profile or content, I ignore those users. To me, if you are the type of person that expects or demands things from people, you aren't my kind of people. Therefore, there's no need to check out your work. You'll have much better luck by leaving comments on my work or that of someone I read. I thoroughly enjoy seeking out and connecting with new members. However, if I am expected to or someone tries to force me to, it'll never happen.
Do Show Me Your Awesomeness
If you want me to check out your work, give me a good reason to instead of demanding or expecting that I follow back. Write good content that people will want to check out. The thing is, I am not going to connect with you just because you connected with me. That would be too many notifications to handle in a day, not to mention the fact that some would likely be spammers. No thanks. I connect back when I like the content or the person behind the content -- or both. Show me I should connect with you simply by doing what we writers do best.
Don't Connect With Me Just So I'll Do The Same
It's very obvious when people do this. Unless you actually have the intention of reading my work and aren't just seeking a follow back, don't bother connecting with me. A connection is worth nothing if you never intend to read the content posted by that member. I repeat, if you are only hitting that follow button just to see if I'll do the same, go away. Please. Umm, now. On the other hand, if you actually want to read my work, I'd love to have you around, of course. Just don't ever ask me to follow back. If you're any good, I'll likely do so naturally without the demand.
Just be you.
This goes back to showing me your awesomeness. I don't want to see you using techniques to get a reciprocal follow from me. I just want to see you. The uniqueness of each writer is what gets me to connect with them. A connect back request will prevent me from seeing that awesomeness because from that point on, you are invisible to me. But unique content, thoughtful comments, and a respectful attitude toward fellow members is very likely to win me over. Just be you and I just might connect back.
*I originally published this elsewhere (no longer published there).
Readers and fellow writers often ask me why I enjoy helping so many people? Am I worried about creating competition for myself? Why do I just freely give advice and inform others of what I do to succeed in writing? Am I creating competition by helping others succeed?
If I were creating competition, I am not afraid to play the game and I'd play it fair. However, I don't believe I am. Why? There is a vast sea of opportunities, gigs, jobs, and contracts in the writing world. It's not humanly possible for me to have every writing task to myself, nor would I desire to.
Aside from that, I am wise enough to know that every assignment is not for me. I don't know everything there is to know. Also, each writer has their own style. Why take on a project I know I can't do when there could be someone else better suited to it and who may need it more than I do? Instead, I could refer a good writer and move on to something better suited to me.
I have always believed in helping others, no matter the situation. Whether in my career or in every day life, if I see someone who needs help, I'm going to provide it if I have the means. If you knew a secret that could change the whole world for the better, would you keep it to yourself? Of course not - at least, I hope not.
No, writing advice is probably not going to change the world. However, if I can offer some guidance that can help change someone's perspective or career for the better, you can bet I'm going to tell them. One small piece of advice or word of encouragement could be all that is standing in the way of someone living their dream. How do I know this? People have given me that kind of hope and assistance. Were it not for fellow writers pushing me and offering me advice, who knows where I'd be today?
So, am I creating competition by helping others succeed? Does it really matter?
Even the best of writers make errors. From typos to grammatical mistakes to run-on sentences, mistakes in writing are common. In internet writing, many writers are editing their own content. This works well most of the time, but we all have our off days. Even a star editor can make a mistake in their own writing. So, how can you solve that? One way is to get a writing buddy.
What is a Writing Buddy?
A writing buddy is another writer whom you trust with your work. This writer also must entrust their work to you. Writing buddies give their final proofread copies to each other to be sure the work is of good quality.
What exactly do writing buddies do?
Writing buddies read over each other's final drafts and make correction suggestions if needed. If both writers also are good editors, there may not be many corrections, but it always is good to have more than one set of eyes looking over a project. It's a great way to ensure quality work is produced as often as possible.
Why Should I Get a Writing Buddy if I Never Make Mistakes?
Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone. No one is perfect. I'm sure that anyone combing this very post will find at least one (if not more than one) suggestion to make. There always is more than one way to look at writing. Also, like I stated, nobody is perfectly accurate all the time. I have gone over pieces of work several times, thinking they were up to par. Then, after they've been published of course, I've found grammatical errors or typos. Having a writing buddy can minimize the chance of inaccuracies.
How Do I Find a Writing Buddy?
If you're a writer, chances are you know at least one other writer. If not, you really should start networking. Having other friends who write can be extremely beneficial in more ways than just the one listed here. I recommend choosing your closest writing friend for this particular project. Be sure that you and this person can fully trust that neither will misuse the other's work in any way. I won't give legal advice on this because I am not a lawyer. Only you can decide how you should handle the legalities. But, I will say that it can be extremely helpful to have a fellow writer give an opinion on work before it is turned in to the client.
How Many Pieces Should My Writing Buddy Check?
All of them, if possible. However, if you are like me, then that may not be possible. I write way to many articles in a day to fairly have a buddy check them all. You and your buddy should decide on a fair number that is feasible for you both. Once you get a balanced writing, reading, and editing routine down, you may be able to add to that number.
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