Journeys are unique to the individuals on them.
This is true for educational journeys. Some will graduate high school. Some won’t. Some will get a bachelors. Others will go to vocational school. Some will finish with a masters. Still others will continue through post-doctoral work.
In the end, what a person does on their journey is the way they chose to connect to the greater endeavor, and likely, it was the best choice for them with the information they had at the time.
Publishing is the same.
Let me repeat: publishing is the same.
Along these lines, let’s make a few compassionate rules – in no particular order – for those of us in publishing that will benefit all involved:
Publishing is not a competition. There are more than enough outlets for articles, guest posts, interviews, and awards. Therefore, celebrate the successes of others and be generous with support you know will benefit your publishing friends.
Take your job seriously. You as a writer or publisher are responsible for influencing and shaping reality through the ideas you disseminate. Think about the potential consequences for your writing and publishing choices.
Encourage one another. You don’t know the publishing journeys of others, what brought them to their present state – trust they’re doing it for a reason. Don’t judge, and if you’re offering advice or support, do it from a place of love and acceptance. Pro tip: IRL and online phrasing and punctuation are not interpreted the same way. When in doubt, be more gentle.
It’s not about you. You are powerful. You are wonderful! Your voice is important! Whatever rejection or criticism you receive is not about you as a human being or your mission for writing and publishing. The feedback, reviews, submission notes etc, are a reflection of the one giving them, not you.
When you get feedback, no matter the source, think through it. Is it true? Did this person give voice to something you were thinking but hadn’t put into words? Incorporate the helpful, ignore the rest.
Continue. If this is your passion and it feels good to do, continue. When writing and publishing ceases to bring you joy, excitement, and or satisfaction, stop.
There are probably other compassionate rules we could add, but this is enough to get started. These are rules I’ve been following, in earnest, especially for the past several months. In that time, my professional life (and everything else) has changed dramatically for the better. I made more connections. I felt good about my interactions on social media, email, and otherwise.
I’d love to know your experiences! Have you practiced any of the above? Did you notice a change when you started this practice? Let me know in a comment below!
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