Day Z of the 2013 Blogging from A to Z April challenge. Today’s topic: zero-sum.
When I was a teacher, I tried to hammer into my kids’ minds that my classroom, and life in general, was not a zero-sum game. If you’re not familiar with that concept, it means that for every winner there must be a loser. For every A there must be an F. For every millionaire there must be a homeless person.
Unfortunately, that attitude seems to be prevalent with writing. If you buy my book, you can’t buy someone else’s. And while there may be some truth in that – your disposable income probably isn’t unlimited – you can at least read my book as well as someone else’s. Being a fan of one person doesn’t preclude being a fan of another.
I’m fortunate in that I know a lot of writers who are super supportive of me, and of most writers they come across. While we’re all working towards that end goal of an agent, or a publisher, or sales of our self-published book, we can help other writers at the same time: sharing resources. Writing critiques and beta reading. Talking about what’s worked for us, and what hasn’t, and why.
Writers are all in this together. My classroom wasn’t a zero-sum game, and neither is gaining readers.