Writing is hard. It's not Stephen Hawking hard, but it is soul-baring hard. When you write (and send your little boat of words out into the world) you are pretty damn naked. You wrote it and now others will judge - whether it's crit partners, beta readers, agents, publishers or whomever. You write, others read - and reading equals judgement (it has to.) So it's a scary proposition to put your writing out there. What I've found in the last three years of being part of the online writing community writ large is that kindness is the watchword.
Writers read for each other. They blog about each other. They retweet and encourage and help with pitch contests and recommendations. Part of our work is in helping others know what we know, reaching a hand behind and pulling others up, saying this is what I did, maybe that helps you.
My writing friend Jenny Herrera sent me a Writing Kind. She didn't wait for me to get a book deal or wait for a book launch or anything seminal. She sent me a care package when I finished writing a book. A simple thing I did and a really kind thing she did.
here's what was in the package:
- a batch of popcorn-chocolate chip cookies that she baked (which my kids ate most of)
- a writing book that reminds me to never lose HOPE.
- note cards/bookplates
- a cool pin (with cartoon birds on it, which eldest stuck to her backpack)
- a CD she burned for me of some of her fav songs (and these have become some of my favs)
- a note basically saying that she was proud of me for finishing.
That's it. Simple, not too extravagant, but priceless in what it did for my spirit.
I'm going to pay that forward to another writing friend. Someone who is fighting the good fight drafting her WIP and someone who has done a lot of good for other writers (myself included.) IT'S A SEKRIT! that's the point.
So what I'm saying is this: 1) Find a writing friend who may need a little encouragement
2) Put together a care package that will make them feel the warm & fuzzies 3) send it to them now - don't wait until they 'achieve' something - they've already achieved a lot. Celebrate now.
I'm calling this stealth act of baked goods & encouragement The Writing Kind.
And I'm buying Jenny a gigantic three-umbrella drink when I see her this summer.
How have you been Writing Kind? And who's been Writing Kind to you?