Sometimes, no matter how busy an author gets, we need to be reminded to get back into the helping frame of mind. Giving another writer a quick one chapter edit, or judging a contest and giving good feedback, are two ways that I love to try and give a little back.
I owe my success so far to people who have taken a moment to tell me "You can't do that." "You have a passive voice, fix it!" I joined a contest about four years ago, my first one ever, and I remember being told "your hero is a jerk".
I was devastated. My hero is NOT a jerk! But it wasn't until I got over myself and listened to feedback, that I improved and received my first contract.
Now even though I received a contract, the book still needed a lot of work. Noble Romance saw potential in me. The editors took the time to point out my bad habits and by the time I was writing my second book for them, the red marks resembled an occasional hickey instead of a Dexter crime scene.
I'm pretty excited to say, the last critique I received from an editor, was followed by a comment that I write "clean". CLEAN??
I wouldn't have ever been called a clean writer without fellow writers pointing out the dirt. Now I have no idea if me pointing out what I see as incorrect in a contest or to my critique partner is appreciated, but I can only go by what was helpful to me, and hope to pay some of that forward.
So if you haven't volunteered or taken a moment to look over somebody's pages...you should. If you don't think it's beneficial to you...well...just think of karma. ::grins:: That's what I have to do when I start thinking I'm just too busy to help out.
All my best!