As a writer, I have discovered that writers like to hang out with other writers and writer types. Maybe we are all a bit insane, or maybe we just understand that certain something in each other that pulls us in to the field, but whatever it is, we find ourselves in a circle, a community I will call it, of like minded souls.
But being a part of a community assumes you are a citizen; and being a citizen means responsibility. Citizens support one another, they don't just take and take, they give as well. And that brings me to the point of this post: Being a Good Literary Citizen.
Publications, ratings, obvious site traffic are important to us. It gives us visibility, which in this new world of 'marketing yourself' is very important. Granted, I don't share or comment or tweet everything I see from those in my community because it would be overwhelming, but I do as much as possible, and hope when I need a little love, it will be returned.
Fictitious Mary is a member of my community. She shares and comments and tweets and rates and buys books from other members. She reviews, she shares, she gives the love. She is a good citizen.
Now let me tell you about fictitious Rudy. Rudy likes to hang in the community, but for years, Rudy hasn't shared, voted, commented-nothing on anyone else in the groups work. Now Rudy has a book out and is finally in a position where he needs a little extra help, too. Let's see, when I'm picking and choosing what to share, is it going to be a link to Rudy's debut novel or Mary's blog post about her cat?
Sorry, Rudy, kitties rule.
Of course, there is a lot more to being a good citizen than just the things mentioned above, but these are easy and take very little of your time.
In the past day, I've tweeted 5 blogs, rated and commented on three short stories, one book, two blog posts, shared three Facebook stories, 'liked' an author page and edited another short story--all for the members of my community. Aside from the editing, this took me less than five minutes of my day.
Why would I do this?
Because I am a member of a literary community and I take my responsibility as a citizen very seriously.
So the BIG question is:
What kind of a literary citizen are you?