Writing Horror Part 6: Choosing Your Tribe
Please remember that the opinions contained in this blog post are just that, opinions. You don't have to take my advice as gold, I'm actually still learning a lot myself. I'm just sharing with the world what has and hasn't worked for me so far.
Now, choosing a tribe.
I'm very fortunate to have a very good tribe. At this point, you might be wondering what a tribe is? A tribe is the authors that you befriend, that surround you and support you and you support in turn. These are a select few authors that worm their way into your heart and don't want to leave. Sometimes it's many authors, or there are different layers in the tribe from author besties to author buddies. I have a few author besties, some author buddies, and a lot of author mentees that I try and help as much as I can by passing along my knowledge.
Recently, events have come to light in my life that show me how picking the right tribe is so important, and how someone, even the holiest of people, can actually be backstabbing rubbish people at the end of the day. Some people will take what they want from you, as resources, knowledge - hell they'd take your brain right out your head if it were free and they were able to - and they use that knowledge to market services to other authors.
Basically, they could send the authors to the free services, advice, articles, and training they received and help them for free (as they were helped) and instead they take that and charge the author to teach them to do it.
This is why it's so important you're careful about who surround yourself with. The author community is a lovely place to reside, but not everything that glitters is gold. You need to find someone who is a 50/50 partner. Someone who gives not just takes. If they were taught for free, they should be paying it forward by offering to help for free.
Yes at some point people study and become industry professionals and may offer to consult for a fee. These people have studied, or been in the industry for ten years. These people have the credentials to do it and let me tell you, I know these people, they still help a boat load of people for free. They are the ones always providing the free resources and advice and offering to help get baby authors set up. I know because I was that baby author, and now I'm one of the mentors who helps baby authors get set up.
And I do not charge.
People can come across as though they are in your corner but in reality, they just want your money. I'm not saying everyone has to do everything for you for free all the time. I'm great friends with my editor who charges me for edits, with a cover designer who charges me for designs, and with a proofreader who charges me per book. That's the services they offer and it's at the GOING RATE or cheaper! They aren't posting they can do something, like professional layouts, which are actually only basic and charging the same amount as another designer who puts in fancy graphics and does proper formatting.
No, it's bullshit.
Your tribe are your people and as I read today, a ship doesn't sink because of the water floating around it but because of the water that gets in.
People, authors, be careful of who you let in cause they can drag you down to the depths while smiling to your face.