Peace on Earth and Spread Good Will

December is for giving. What most people don’t realize is that most writers give back all the time. Being this is the season for giving, I thought I’d share with you.

I give back. I run writers’ groups every Tuesday. I do classes on writing at the local libraries. Usually twice a year, and I try to help local and online friends realize their dreams as authors.

Anyone in this business will help. But be prepared. Most of us are busy. Don’t expect an answer that evening or the next day. Especially if you want us to read something! Most of the answers can be found in Kindle Direct Publishing or what we call K. D. P. Don’t understand that technical stuff? Check their FAQ. There are also some great online groups where you can ask questions. Learn what you are doing! Don’t expect us to spoon-feed you. You’re an adult.

Yes, many of us entered this indie publishing as it was just starting. We didn’t have anyone to hold our hands. We made mistakes. Kindle made mistakes. But we kept making changes as they did and we’ve all learned. I can remember my panic as I uploaded my first book. I sat and looked at the button that said publish for probably five minutes until I had the guts to click on it. It honestly felt like an hour.

Know something about what you are doing before you do it! Do not expect to put your book up and have it sell a gazillion copies right from the get-go. You’ll hear about books that want viral. That didn’t happen overnight. They did a few things before they posted that book online. I’ve known people who have put a book online and then they will ask me when will it start selling. Have they done anything to make it sell? Have they spent money advertising it? Do they belong to any groups online? The answer is sad. No, they haven’t. They expected that it would just take off. They want that $100,000 a year income from it. Don’t we all?

The other thing I hear is: I want to write and publish my memoirs. My first question is why? What has happened to you that is so compelling? It’s always the same story. There are dozens of those stories out there. How many books have you read with that theme? What will make your story stand out? They don’t know.

May I offer a suggestion? Write it. Get it out of your system. Let your children know that you have this manuscript that you’ve written about your crappy life with a dysfunctional family. Maybe one day those children might read it.

On the other hand, those who do have lives worth writing about seem to ignore it. Case in point, a local woman has been a missionary in the Middle East and in places further east almost her entire life. Her story of that time is amazing. She’ll read her old journal entries during our writer meetings and you can hear a pin drop. I’ve been trying to tell her that those journals of her time there are worth putting into a book. She ignores me and wants to write devotional stuff. What’s truly fascinating in those journals is her hopes and dreams for her own children growing up in third world countries and her beautiful descriptions of places untouched by civilization. Living without running water and carrying the water they needed from a stream that wasn’t even close to the shack where they lived. The political stuff that she has lived to tell about. OMG! The people who have awaken them in the middle of the night and made them leave with only what they could carry, and then later that morning discovering that the country was overthrown in a bloody carnage. Trying to get to civilization because her babies were due or trying to get home to the States because a family member was dying. That’s what glues us to her readings. It’s the human aspect of her life while under duress. We can lead the horse to water but we can’t make the creature drink. Maybe someday her grandchildren will pull those journals into a book, not the whole journal but lifting the best tidbits from them.

December is beyond all the gift giving and Christmas lights. It’s about giving more than that. Have you given of yourself? Tried to lift someone up or helped in way way? December has just begun, there’s plenty of time to do that. There’s also time to plan for next year. Can you share a bit of yourself? Give some time to help those who are just breaking into your career or maybe studying for your career. Are you an engineer? Can you give an afternoon to your local library to entice children especially those little females that they too can be engineers? STEM is serious there are less than 12%  of the engineers are female, and the engineering schools don’t have females even applying for those classes. It has dwindled to virtually no female attendance.  Call your local Girl Scout office and say hey, I can do this!

Give that little gift of yourself. There’s some little talent inside that you can share and as a result the world will be different because of what you’ve done. Time is your greatest gift.

Merry Christmas…..Happy Hanukkah

No matter what you celebrate, stay safe this season and spread a little good cheer!

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9 Responses to Peace on Earth and Spread Good Will

  1. Elizabeth Thompson says:

    Thanks for sharing, E., and thanks for giving!
    Reminder to self. 🙂
    xx
    Lizzi

    Liked by 2 people

    • E. Ayers says:

      Lizzi, how many female veterinarians do you know? The number of enrollments are dropping in all the science fields. Hope you can find a way to encourage some young teens to consider it as a profession. Plus all the support personal that go with it, from lab techs to assistants to rehab personal, what a better way to spend the time with the animals you love. It’s a way to make a difference.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Carol says:

    Great post, E. Giving is the best part of Christmas-or any time of the year!

    Liked by 2 people

    • E. Ayers says:

      So true. So why do we wait until Dec. to think about being nice and spreading happiness? I always hate to see Christmas end. Not because it’s a holiday but because people somehow feel they don’t need to be kind and the world goes back to its grumpy self. I like it much better when people smile, hold the door, and remember to say please and thank you.

      Ever notice the best things don’t cost anyone a penny?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. susanrhughes says:

    I truly appreciate all the authors who have selflessly given me help, advice and support over the years.

    Liked by 3 people

    • E. Ayers says:

      Most of us wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for others who helped and pushed us along the way.

      I think we’re lucky to have you here on Main Street, Susan. Your writing is top-notch and your stories are wonderful!

      Liked by 1 person

    • leighmorgan1 says:

      Me too, Susan! None of us get where we want to be alone. It’s kind of wonderful when help arrives from unexpected places as well.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. leighmorgan1 says:

    Merry Christmas,E.!!! Your efforts to help others are appreciated more than you know…I’m sure about this because I am continually grateful for all the help/encouragement/kindness/guidance, I’ve received along the way. Here’ to the giving season!

    Liked by 2 people

    • E. Ayers says:

      I am so grateful for this fantastic group of authors here on Main St. We all lean on each other for info over the strangest things but each of us brings a certain knowledge and set of skills with us. Even if it’s someone’s hubby (wink) who was able to provide me with that insider knowledge in a particular area.

      We all have those fragile moments and as a group, we lend a helping hand to each other. Our Xmas boxed set represents the effort of the whole. So many of us read each other’s script, checking for anything that may have been missed by our editors and often we content read. Because anyone who isn’t a writer has no clue how easy it is for us to leave the hero in the living room while the heroine is in the kitchen but those extremely long arms of his can reach into that kitchen and wrap that heroine’s waist with his gentle hands. And somehow his lips can find her ear without him even stepping into that kitchen.. Hmm, meet Super Hero, Stretchyman.

      I think everyone in this business relies on other authors, because someone else has been through the same thing and knows the ropes. Thank goodness! Most authors are wonderful when it comes to sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

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