Until I became a writer, I didn't know how many writers there were in the world. And I'm not talking about the published writer. Walk into any bookstore, if you can still find one open, and you'll see evidence of how many writers have been lucky enough to break into the biz. Instead, I'm talking about the aspiring writer.
Tell people you're a writer and chances are they either know someone who's an aspiring writer or they're writers. As soon as people know you're a writer, there's always a flood of questions that follows. Who's your agent? How did you find an agent? Do you use an editor? What do you think of self publishing? The list goes on and on. To be honest, I'd rather be asked questions like these than have someone ask me what my book's about. It's not that I'm ashamed of my work. I'm just not good at giving the cliff notes versions of my stories. One liners just aren't my thing, and summaries take time.
After asking me a flurry of questions about the business side of writing, most of the inquisitive are humble and even apologetic for asking. I'm always quick to assure them I don't mind helping out, and I'm not blowing smoke when I say that. I truly mean it. Having been burned a few times in this business when I was just starting out, I'm more than happy to help others benefit from my bad experiences. Believe me when I say there's nothing more damaging to your dream than having an unscrupulous character take advantage of you.
Sometimes it may take time for me to give a reply due to my time constraints. Some things I just don't know the answer to and can only offer an opinion. Either way, I'm happy to lend a hand. If I'd known another writer when I was starting out, I would've asked the questions too. Maybe it would've saved me some heartache and even a little money.
Since I can't change what I've gone through, I'm always happy to help those in need.