The new writing dynamic, as I see it, includes the need and the responsibility of independent writers to support other independent writers. I would not be so brazen as to suggest that independent writers act as informal gatekeepers, as the term gatekeeper is too ill-defined and certain to ruffle feathers in some circles.
Yet, there is an aspect to who a writer chooses to support that lends itself to the idea of how a gatekeeper might be defined; if I read and promote a writer, it means there is value that I want to share.
If I don't, well, that says something, too, doesn't it?
Without support from other writers it's a tough go, I believe, for any writer. This isn't a business to make a living alone, not for most of us, anyway. Maybe gatekeeper is too strong a term, too contentious, but, there remains some truth in the fact that I personally rely on retweets on twitter, rely on followers on my blog, rely on mentions on other blogs, rely on simple goodwill wherever it is found.
Independents have power. Gatekeeper? Maybe, maybe not. I suppose there is room for debate on that either way, but for certain, I feel the need to take some directed action.
So. In my role as maybe/ maybe not gatekeeper, I have come up with a thought. I have, at the moment, something north of 800 followers on twitter and 17 followers on my blog. I have thought that I would feature one (perhaps more) of those followers each week on my own blog. There are so many worthy writers, it seems a selfish waste on my part not to give attention to fellow writers.
I'm still working out the hows (though it involves a custom random number generator-awesome!), but I think I might have something solid tomorrow.
Support your local independent writer, give them some much deserved props.