Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Writer Wednesday: When Was the Last Time You Paid it Forward?

Lately I've been thinking about giving, and that includes giving back to the writing community. It's no secret I love this community. I think writers are some of the greatest people and fully believe we need to be in this journey together to keep sane.

So today I want to remind you to take the time to pay it forward. Think of how other writers have helped you, whether it was to read and critique your query letter, offer feedback on a manuscript, point you in the direction of a good writing course or freelance editor, review your book, or help you tweet good news. Now think about what you've done for other writers lately. Could you do more?

One way I pay it forward is by being a volunteer judge at Rate Your Story. For those of you who aren't familiar with RYS, it's a site where you can submit your stories to have rated for free. Yes, free. I've been a volunteer judge there since the site was created over two years ago. Today, I received a nice note from someone who uses the site thanking me for my time and for helping others. It made my day to know that giving my time at the site was appreciated by others. 

Another way I give back is by featuring MG, YA, and NA books every Friday. It's so easy to help authors promote their books, and I'm happy to do my part. That goes for everyone reading this. If you would like your book featured, just contact me and we'll schedule your post.

How do you give back to the writing community?

56 comments:

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  2. Great idea. I publicise friend's novels on my FB page and blog sometimes, take part in their blog tours on occasion, buy their books and act as a beta reader when needed.

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    1. That's great, Fi! I'm sure they all appreciate that. :)

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  3. I think this is a wonderful idea, Kelly. And that is very kind of you to give up some of your free time in order to help review others' work for free. Rate Your Story sounds like a fantastic way to help authors get the feedback they need but might not be able to afford.
    I've always believed in paying it forward. Like yourself, I truly feel like we are in this journey together so supporting each other can be detrimental to our success. I love helping others by tweeting, sharing their information, posting reviews and buying their books; especially when there are so many great stories out there which aren't necessarily found on bookshelves. I know how overwhelming this industry can seem at times but having people like you and the others who are willing to help out in it make it a better place!

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    1. We definitely are all in this together. It's much nicer that way too. :)

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  4. You know I'll promote an PG-13 author who asks but becauseof this post, I've decided to sign up to judge fab five.

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  5. Now that I review books on T.A.A., I make the conscious effort to review books and authors I love who aren't as well known or just starting out as they can get overlooked amongst the bestsellers, and also books by well-known authors that are pre or post their "Breakout" book that are just as good, in my humble opinion, but are rarely talked about.

    For example, most people know Kate DiCamillo for "Because of Winn-Dixie" or "The Tale of Desperaux" and possibly "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" but she also did the "Mercy Watson" chapter book series and two picture books.

    Now that I'm doing more video content, I'm planning to do more content to support and bring more visibility to authors and books I'd love to see get more readers and respect.

    I also give mini-reviews of book trailers on Pinterest and why (In my opinion) they work, and if applicable, suggestions I feel would've made them more effective but overall work as intended.

    I'm also working on a playlist on my author YouTube channel (Different and more writer-centric than my T.A.A. YouTube channel) that has playlists for book trailers to highlight books I've read and love in a more visual way.

    I plan to contact more authors to see if I can interview them for the blog this year.

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    2. I deleted the last update to add the hyperlinks for those interested in checking out the videos and ways I try to pay it forward as an author and reader.

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    3. It's great that you are reaching out to help authors more, Taurean.

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  6. One of the best things about the writing community is there is so many people willing to help each other, imho. I definitely do my best to pay back, and forward, all the amazing things I've had help with over the years!

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    1. Yes, so many people are willing to help others out. It's great. :)

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  7. Paying forward is something that has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. My passion right now is to encourage young writers, so I help them with resources, editing, and lending a listening ear to their stories. It's a win, win for me because in the end I am encouraged ten fold.

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    1. Yes! Isn't great how helping young writers does encourage and inspire you. It's a give and take on both sides.

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  8. You're so right, Kelly. We're in this together and need all the help we can get. I enjoy having authors on my blog, with reviews, interviews, spotlights, whatever they want to do. I review lots of books to help spread the word.

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    1. Reviews are great. You do so many, Beverly and that's so great of you. :)

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  9. You are the best author out there when it comes to giving back, Kelly! Thanks for all that you do! *HUGS*

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  10. I couldn't agree with you more. I don't do as much as you, but I feature other authors on my blog, and there's a writing site where I'm a Mod (writing.com) and write a monthly writing-craft newsletter and reward other reviewers.

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    1. That sounds awesome, Lexa. You're definitely doing your part. :)

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  11. Totally agree! I try to pay it forward by finding useful resources and sharing it on social media. I'm also a part of a lot of online groups so I try helping out with other people's questions. I like the Rate Your Story idea!

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    1. I love when you share resources. It's very helpful. :)

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  12. Giving back is so important. My favorite way is to read and review then recommend books. Granted, I can only get through 4 to 8 a month, so it's a slow turn around. Still, I enjoy it. Writerly Wednesdays are my favorite way to give back though. They allow me to promote one person exclusively each week, and I can't tell you how many amazing relationships I've been blessed to form through it. It's mind boggling how many wonderful writers are on the interwebs. =)

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    1. I wish I could read 8 books a month! I'm not sure how many I read each month, but the number definitely isn't that high. I'm a little jealous. Reviewing books is so awesome though. Authors really appreciate reviews.

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  13. There are so many ways to pay-it-forward (and backward!) and I find that, especially in kid-lit, writers help each other all the time. Not only on Wednesdays. I'm contacting everyone I know in a certain town where a writing colleague will have a book reading, where she knows no one. Thank you for reminding me to get back to it.

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  14. Today I was on the receiving end as I got Blitzed!

    I let authors do guest posts on my blog and try to offer publishing and promoting tips to help others.

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    1. That's great! You're doing your part. :)

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  15. Rate Your Story is a good service! I give back by featuring authors and their books. I do charge for my manuscript critiques, but I give a lot on my writing workshops.

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    1. I charge for my editorial services, but my Rate Your Story critiques are free. I think it's a good balance.

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  16. I offered to donate my time to help upgrade the Tallahassee Writers Association website. :D

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    1. That was really awesome of you, Diane. :)

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  17. I tend to share blogs or news on FB, or on my own blog when I see fit. It's one way to point out another writer to someone who might not have heard of them.

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  18. I offer spotlights and features to authors and books on my blog.

    Nas

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    1. Yes, you feature spotlights often, Nas. :)

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  19. I try to help others by featuring books etc on my blog.

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  20. Hey, I touched on this same subject in my blog today. Great minds think alike!

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  21. What a great post, Kelly! So important to pay it forward with other writers and you do it all the time!

    We post reviews and interviews with authors regularly on our blog and try to help them get their name out there. We also have read drafts of manuscripts that other authors have asked our opinion about. We also try to share other blogs and books whenever we can. :)

    ~Stephanie and Jess

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    1. You ladies are great about promoting others. :)

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  22. Good for you and everyone here, Kelly! For me, it's tweeting, pinning, writing reviews, offering critique/feedback, and pointing to certain chapters in certain books, websites etc.

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  23. Fantastic. I do beta read and I feature authors all the time on my blog. It's not all about "me, me, me."

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    1. Yes, that's the key, to balance between you and promoting others. :)

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  24. I didn't know you judged at RYS! Miranda is a good friend. I teach at ICL and do a lot of beta-reading. I also moderate at the Blueboards. I've at times had the feeling of paying much more attention to other people's writing than my own. It's a balancing act.

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    1. Marcia, with all that on your plate I can see how you might feel you pay more attention to other people's work than your own. Wow!

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  25. I've tried to give back by sharing books I love on my blog. I've also been contacted a few times about beta reading and I've never said no. LOL, sometimes I probably should have but it's hard for me to do that to a writer trying to make it...especially when I know how difficult that can be. I want to give back more, though. So I'm always on the look-out for more opportunities.

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    1. Beta reading is a great way to help others. I get a lot of requests and can't take them all on since I already have a small group I beta read for on a regular basis.

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  26. I don't know that I know all that much about writing, honestly. But whenever someone asks me a question I share what little I know. I've been fortunate to have met a few people (you come to mind) and I want to give back. Like the new look a lot.

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    1. Thanks. :) I feel like I keep changing the look, but I'm going to keep this for a while.

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  27. Giving back (or paying it forward) always makes me feel good. I host one author a week on my blog to help them promote their book. Plus, all of my blog posts are for writers looking for tips. I also try to join as many blog hops as I can and have helped new writers by beta reading and helping them figure out story lines if they are stuck. Of course, I get as many books as I can and post reviews as soon as I read them. :)

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    1. That's great, Chrys. You do share a lot of great tips on your blog. I always enjoy them. :)

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