Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gatekeepers? Look in the Mirror, Writer

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.


JJ said...

gthis is a nice idea, not sure how it would work but i say go for it, never know unless you try :)

MT Nickerson said...

My ideas? I tend to have lots of them. My follow through? Meh.

We shall see.

Thanks for the comment, JJ.

Anonymous said...

You are so right. As a newbie to social media, I find the lines a bit blurry, but I'll find my way.

Always loved the term gatekeeper ...

MT Nickerson said...

We all start at the same place- at the beginning.

Blurry lines are fun, because it's the newbies who get to define those lines, move them around, fit them where we want them.

Change brings opportunity.

Thanks for the comment Gene Pool Diva (great handle, by the by).

Anonymous said...


This is an interesting take on the term gatekeeper -- a re-envisioning of it even.

Traditionally, a gatekeeper's job is to scrutinize incoming material and determine what is worthy to get past the gates. In writing, that was first the publisher's and then the agent's job.

But what you're suggesting is a reversal of sorts. Under this plan, it's the gatekeeper's job to get the gates open. Instead of looking for reasons to say no, your new gatekeeper seeks reasons to say yes.

I love this idea. It amounts to the same thing -- getting worthy materials to an audience. But instead of focusing on keeping bad material out, it's focused on getting good material in. Some crap is bound to leak through, but didn't it before anyway?

Anyway, I love this philosophy. I intend to adopt it. As a writer seeking an audience, I can help others just like me whose work I appreciate.

Vive la revolution!


Thanks for a good post. Got my day off to the right start.


MT Nickerson said...

John, thanks for your comment. I really hadn't thought of the gatekeeper concept in as clear a way you just described it, but I do believe that independent writers are living in an exciting time and that we have the opportunity to define what writing and publishing looks like in the future.

I would much rather look at the future with a positive outlook, rather than a negative.