Today’s post is brought to you by the Story Cartel Course, which is launching next Thursday. To receive free lessons and deepen your understanding of the writing and publishing process, sign up here.
When you think of the stereotypical writer, you might picture a silent, brooding genius who keeps to himself. A recluse who rarely ventured into the outside world except to “research” the lives of the subjects of his stories. You might imagine an entire profession of Emily Dickinsons, pale and contemplative.
However, for nearly every famous writer—from Ernest Hemingway to Virginia Woolf, J.R.R. Tolkien to Mary Shelley—this stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth.
The truth is that nearly every great writer had a Cartel.
What Is a Cartel?
A Cartel is an agreement amongst competitors.
The idea is that you and I are competing for the same, limited attention spans. We are both trying to get readers interested in our writing, trying to build a platform, and trying to sell our books.
However, instead of acting like competitors, we could choose to act like allies. By helping each other, you and I could multiply our efforts.
Ernest Hemingway was far from a self-made man.
Early in his career as a reporter, Hemingway made friends with a novelist named Sherwood Anderson. Anderson took an interest in Hemingway, eventually helping him get his first novel published. It was Anderson who convinced Hemingway to visit Paris and participate in the artist’s enclave popularized by the film Midnight in Paris.
In Paris, Hemingway met F. Scott Fitzgerald, who had just published The Great Gatsby. Hemingway had been writing short stories, but after reading The Great Gatsby, he realized that his next work had to be a novel.
Hemingway was also befriended by well known writers in Paris, including James Joyce, Ezra Pound, and Gertrude Stein, writers who, as he said, “could help a young writer up the rungs of a career.” It was Gertrude Stein who first named their Cartel of expatriate artists, “The Lost Generation,” a term Hemingway made popular in The Sun Also Rises, his first novel and the work that would make him internationally famous.
Great Artists Have Cartels
We think of great writers as silent, brooding geniuses, but the truth is they all had relationships like Hemingway had with F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sherwood Anderson. These relationships inspired them and helped them get their first works published. Far from the exception, Hemingway’s story is the rule. Great artists are made by Cartels.
The good news is that today, building a Cartel is easier than it ever has been.
You just need to know how.
How to Build a Story Cartel
For the last few months, I’ve been quietly building something new, and I’m really excited about it.
When I started The Write Practice two years ago, I wanted to create a community of people who would help each other become better writers. As an extension of this community, several months ago, we built Story Cartel, a place for writers to share their books and build their audience. Next week, I’m launching the Story Cartel Course, which will take the best from Story Cartel and The Write Practice and combine them into a powerful resource for writers.
At Story Cartel, we have worked with New York Times Bestselling authors, traditional publishers, and successful independent authors. Now, we’re bringing the secrets of the publishing world to you in a fun, highly educational course.
Free Lessons from the Story Cartel Course
As a way to thank you for being part of this community, I’m offering free lessons from the Story Cartel Course here for a limited time. These lessons will help you deepen your understanding of writing and publishing, and give you a free sneak peak on the course.
I don’t want you to miss out on this, so sign up now.
Sign up to receive free lessons from the Story Cartel Course about writing and publishing by clicking here.
The only practice today is to sign up for the free lessons from the Story Cartel course and read through the first lesson, 5 Tools to Share Your Story Further.
I hope you enjoy it!