You sit at your computer stringing words together using the L.I.N.D.Y. H.O.P., Susan May Warren’s plotting spine from her writing craft books, or some other secret formula. The members of your critique group are none the wiser that you’ve discovered the hidden treasure of novel writing. After all, if they found out, they could beat you to press.
But here’s the rub. Hoarding that information is actually against the law. No, the police won’t come to your door with an arrest warrant. They aren’t going to handcuff you, toss you into the back of a police cruiser and haul you off to a new life behind bars. But the results can be equally as confining.
You see, if you don’t share what you’ve learned with others, you limit your own treasure. The Bible tells us that if we give, it will be given to us and in far greater measure than what we gave. We tend to get stuck thinking that passage refers only to money, but that’s not the case. It refers to every aspect of our life, including our writing journey. If you’ve learned a new truth that will help you on your writing journey and share that with your fellow writers, it will accomplish two incredible things:
- It solidifies the principle in your mind. The more you share it with your fellow writers, the more it becomes attached to you. And once it’s glued there, it won’t budge. You’ll always be able to draw on it when you need to.
- It opens the floodgates for return blessing. When we share our knowledge with others, it actually opens our creativity in our minds and we begin to see things differently. Our vision becomes far-reaching. We discover new ways of writing that passage or find a deeper layer in that character.
I think you may underestimate how much you can contribute to the success of other writers, regardless of where you are on your journey. I see you shaking your head right now in protest. After all, you’re not a published writer. In fact, you haven’t even finished your first manuscript. But you have lived through some incredible challenges, disappointments, and discouragements, times when the cursor on the blank page haunted you in your sleep. Your experience can help someone else on his or her journey.
Do you want more out of your writing? Then give away what you already know. Did you learn a really solid method of plotting? Awesome! Share it. Did your character teach you something about themselves that will impact the story? Tell someone. If you do, not only will you never reach the bottom of your own barrel, you’ll soon be unable to contain the gifts that are given back to you.
Just do it! Make it a habit. You receive, then turn around—preferably immediately—and freely give. What you get back will be a far greater blessing than you ever will be to the ones you share your information with. When you give it all away, you’ll never run out. Try it. You’ll be glad you did!
Reba J. Hoffman is a natural encourager and Member Care Coach at My Book Therapy. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Counseling and is the founder of Magellan Life Coaching. She is the author of Dare to Dream, a Writer’s Journal published by My Book Therapy. She also publishes a motivational and encouraging blog, True North. Contact Reba at email@example.com.