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Why I Love Writers

A little late, but better than never.

Have to sing a little song of praise here.  All of us (or at least it feels that way) have lamented from time to time about how easy it is to have time eaten up by all the various forms of electronic contact.  But on the other hand, the chance to share with each other, to pass on snippets of knowledge, just to cheer for or bewail with is so tempting! Well, I have to stand up on my little hind legs and say that one of the reasons is because romance writers, in particular, are so particularly generous, giving, and kind.

As I’ve said before (repeatedly), I was a published nonfiction writer for years.  During that time, I had no contact with other authors — nor, as far as I knew, was there any way to establish contact.  It was sink or swim, baby, and you and your agent and your editor were out there, each with slightly different agendas, cooperating when it was best all around.

Once I started fiction, and discovered the RWA, the whole picture changed.  Suddenly I was part of a community.  And the nicest part was that the community was there for me whether I’d published anything or not.  Very fortunately, because publishing in the 21st century is a whole different game from the 20th.

This week I’ve had the best demonstration of that.  I was trying to enter a contest held some distance from the United States.  (Don’t want to specify, because I don’t want everybody in a position to take advantage of their good-heartedness.)  Being distracted by the press of ordinary things, a frequent condition with me, I didn’t realize the deadline was approaching so rapidly, nor did I appreciate the horrendous expense of priority mailing (USPS, UPS, Fedex etc.).  Plus the little difficulty of translating metric margins into inches, an entirely different format, and so forth.  In desperation I turned to the site of the RWA equivalent, asking for help on the technical issues.  I figured I’d just have to eat the cost myself if I wanted to enter — and by that time I was determined to enter.

The president, no less, promptly responded.  Knowing, she said, from entering US contests, how expensive it is to mail full manuscripts, which is what the contest requires, she suggested I just email it to her.  She’d print it out to their format and enter it for me.

Now is that kindness or what?  I have been going around all week in a golden glow, trying to figure out what I could do, short of sending her my right arm, to express my gratitude.  I have no idea how I’ll fare in the contest, but that is now of little importance.  What the experience has already done for me is made me glowingly aware of what generosity and comradery there is in the world of romance writers, and it is a world.  Also how glad I am to be one of that number.

Is this a fortunate fluke or have you been gifted as well by your sister (and occasional brother) writers?  All we can do if we are, I guess, is pass it on.  I’m looking for an opportunity myself . . .

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7 Responses

  1. That was so nice of her. Good luck in the contest.

  2. that was very nice of her. As a general rule, I do find romance authors to be giving and helpful.

    Good luck! Let us know how you do. 🙂

  3. Thanks for your good wishes, Jane and Cyndi! Maybe I’m looking at it with starry eyes, but I have been impressed all along by the generosity of romance writers to others — supplying facts, resources, experience by the gallon, and obviously considering that’s the normal pattern of behavor.

    Maybe if I were more involved (altho I don’t know how I’d carve time out to write if I were) I’d run into a less pleasant side of things — and I have come up against the odd circumstance here and there — but at this point I’m fortunate to say that the examples of generosity have been by far more numerous.

    That hasn’t happened to me elsewhere!

  4. Yes, indeed, we are generous beings. I think because we write about right overcoming wrong, it is just in us to help one another. After all, we all like a happy ending.

    And I believe what comes around goes around, pay it forward, karma and all that. When you stop thinking about getting yours and helping others get theirs, true reward comes your way.

  5. It is very helpful to be a part of the writing community now. I didn’t know what RWA was before three years ago. It has helped me tremendously and especially my local chapter. I don’t know what I would do without them!

    And I enjoy helping them too!

  6. Wow, Beppie! This is so cool to know that the generosity of writers stretches beyond our US borders. 🙂 I’m still shocked sometimes by how eager those I come in contact with are to help out. This is truly a wonderful group of people to be associated with!

    Best of luck with the contest!!

  7. I do appreciate all of you! I guess what continues to surprise me (at the same time that I’m grateful for it!) is that although we could choose to regard each other as competitors, in my experience that happens only seldom. Maybe it’s because most of us are no good at slitting throats deviously, except perhaps fictionally! I like Liz’s explanation better — we write about the good (at least the happy) triumphing, and it encourages us to be more like that ourselves.

    Anyhow, I for one am extremely grateful to this community, and right at the moment I owe one tremendous favor to somebody — if I can’t pay it back maybe I’ll get to pay it forward!

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