Most of us have heard of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do onto you. It’s even in the Bible. How cool is that.
And of course, there’s the flip side, the negative view: do onto others before they do onto you. But that’s a topic for another time.
The Americanized paraphrase is treat others as I want to be treated.
Good words to live by actually.
Especially for those of us in the publishing business.
Do I want to receive helpful and honest feedback on my writing? Do I want my writing partners and critique groups help me grow in the craft?
Do I do the same for them? Or do I nitpick and criticize to show how much better a writer I am? Does my feedback build up or discourage?
What example do I set for newer writers?
What do I do when a prospective agent doesn’t respond within a reasonable period of time? Does it annoy me when I never hear? How do I handle it?
How do I react when others expect something from me? Do I make vague or even no promises to get back to someone?
If someone asks me to judge a contest or speak on a panel, how quickly do I respond?
Do I say, “I’ll get back to you next week?” Does next week ever come? Do I keep my word or do I forget about it?
We can never expect our behavior to change someone or to make them more like us. If that is our intent, we are probably trying to manipulate.
But we can set an example others can choose to follow. We can live a lifestyle that reflects our core values and beliefs. For me that is my faith in Jesus.
How we treat others will lay the foundation for our ongoing relationships.
What kind of relationships do I want with my fellow writing professionals? What am I doing to make it happen?
How would you answer these questions?