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Writers Are Nice People

Newcomers to writing often comment on how nice everyone is. Writers give each other advice. We share successes and failures. We explain the piece we're presently working on (sometimes in too much detail) with little thought that someone will "steal" our ideas. (You can try, but it will still be a ton of work for you.) In a field where every new book adds to the dizzying amount of competing works, one might think that writers would hide their secrets, keep the means of success to themselves when (if) they stumble on it, and perhaps even mislead naive newbies in order to send them in the wrong direction. That doesn't happen. Maybe because of how difficult it is to get published, most writers feel an empathy with others that causes them to ignore the prospective competition and give advice that's as helpful as possible. Have a question for an author? Just ask. It's likely she will share what she knows (unless she has a deadline looming). Why are we so nice? Wh