Monday, December 12, 2016

Favors in Kind

By Janice Dick

As writers, we have a lot of jobs to accomplish:

- observe life
- collect ideas
- write first drafts
- edit, re-edit, re-edit
- polish
- publish
- market
- repeat

How do we find time to wear all these hats, and do so efficiently and effectively?

I think one answer may lie in the realization that we can’t do it all. Not perfectly. Not on our own.

These days the big wide world offers endless options to help us achieve our goals. We can hire help in various areas where we either don’t have the time or the ability to accomplish the task. For example, I have no skills with visual arts, so I must hire a professional cover designer.

But that leads us to the fact that most of us aren’t raking in the dough, so we may not have the cash to spend on the things we can’t or won’t do ourselves. Also, we don’t always have time to complete all aspects of publication and marketing on our own.

What about trading skillsets? This is not a new thing, but I have been adjusting to independent publishing and I also have a difficult time asking for help, so it’s taken me a while to get to this point.

I have read the work of other authors, I’ve edited, written up endorsements, drafted reviews, sent out or reposted Facebook articles for their work, told friends, and attended presentations and book signings. I’ve done these things gladly because I want these writers to succeed.

So, why wouldn't they do these things for me as well? Of course they would, but I have to ask. There are virtual bulletin boards for listing the skills we offer and the ones we are looking for.

Let’s continue to support each other in every way we are able. I think favors in kind is one of the best methods out there.


  1. Great post, Janice. Yes paying it forward. And well done you for all those tasks you've assisted authors with. Asking can be hard, but I think you'll find authors will have long memories for those people who've helped them out. My sense there is a collaborative spirit amongst authors and so I'd encourage you to ask especially those who you've helped out.

    1. I think author's who are Christian have an extra wish to encourage and assist one another. It goes with the reaching out idea.

  2. I love what you're suggesting, Janice! I've heard of authors who trade skillets and it seems like a fantastic idea to me. You're right about this being a business where we need each other. I definitely have my own strengths and weaknesses and love the idea of helping out each other in this journey!

    1. For me, the challenge is organizing my time so I can do all the things I want to do, either for my own writing or for someone else's. And we're all on our own journeys, as you said. The key is probably being available and willing for the time when God asks something like this of us.