Writers Are Generous

First, I’d like to announce that Jean Patton is the winner of last week’s Haunted House Blog Hop that appeared on my blog page. She will receive a copy of HAUNTED along with a $5 gift certificate from Amazon.com. And Shelly Hammond is the winner of the drawing held on Thursday (in the Living Room of Nancy Gideon’s Haunted House). Shelly will receive a copy of THE CROWS. 

One thing I’ve learned over the years is writers are generous people. They give of their time, their knowledge, and their money. This trait is evident no matter what organization the writer belongs to or what type of writing is being pursued. If another writer asks for help—or even if it’s not a writer asking—help is given, one way or another.

I’ll never forget Carol Fenner (winner of the Christopher Award, honors from the Coretta Scott King Award, and twice runner-up for the Newbery Award). Way before I was published, I called Carol out of the blue. (Another writer told me a published writer lived in a nearby town and gave me her number.) Carol not only willingly answered my neophyte-questions, she also encouraged me and told me to feel free to call again.

I didn’t call Carol again, or meet her, not for another twenty years. As fate would have it, she and I ended up in the same critique group. For two years I had the pleasure of her friendship and her encouragement. Up until her death in 2002, she was always the same—a wonderful, generous person.

Over the years, not only in regard to writing, I’ve learned that when I give, I also benefit. I don’t do things or offered to judge contests and mentor other writers with that in mind, but it happens.

For decades writers have been volunteering their time to organize and run writers groups, from the national level to local. This takes away from writing time, but thank goodness they have put forth this effort. Through their continuing efforts writers have gained a stronger voice with publishers, better contracts, and more respect.

Writers are always giving of their time and money to support charities. My local romance writers chapter has been supporting an abuse shelter for over two decades. Every year the Mid-Michigan RWA chapter has held an auction to raise money for the shelter. In addition to the auction, individual members have donated items that the shelter has indicated it needs. Prior to the annual auction, not only do the members of the chapter donate copies of their books, critiques (usual of fifty pages or more of a writer’s unpublished manuscript), and other goodies to entice bidders to bid on baskets, so do writers from all across the nation, as well as Canada, Australia, and the UK.

For years Brenda Novak has held her annual auction to benefit diabetes research. (http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com/ ). What writers, publishers, agents, and editors donate is amazing, as well as the bids.

Last week my husband benefitted from the generosity of another writer. I met Sharon Wood Hopkins (http://www.sharonwoodshopkins.com/) several years ago through the Mid-West Chapter of Mystery Writers of America’s mentoring program. Since that time I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with Sharon and her husband (fellow writer, Judge Bill Hopkins) at several conferences, the most recent being the Writers’ Police Academy.

Sharon, me, and Bill Hopkins at 2013 Love is Murder Conference

Sharon, me, and Bill Hopkins at 2013 Love is Murder Conference

When Sharon heard my husband was sailing solo and would soon be on the Mississippi and not far from where she lived, she contacted me and said, if I let her know when my husband would be there, she’d take a picture of him sailing by.

Well, she did far more than that. As soon as Sharon heard my husband’s boat was trapped on a gravel mound, about 40 miles north of her, she started calling local agencies to find help for him.

The Merlin is grounded (or rather graveled)

The Merlin is grounded (or rather graveled)

As it turned out, the boating insurance we pay for (BoatUS) came to the rescue, albeit 30+ hours later, but Sharon wasn’t through. She was there at Cape Giradeau’s fueling dock (which only handles diesel) waiting for my Bill. She drove him into town for gas, supplies, and a decent meal.

As I said, writers are generous people. Thank you, Sharon.

By the way, Sharon writes a fun mystery series featuring a mortgage banker, Rhetta McCarter, and her ’79 Camaro. Her books are available at Amazon.com. (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_12?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=sharon%20woods%20hopkins&sprefix=Sharon+Woods%2Caps%2C241 ) Stop by and give them a look.

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20 Responses to Writers Are Generous

  1. Nancy Gideon says:

    Yup, writers are awesome generous! I remember Debbie Macomber looking me up at my first writers conference just after I’d published to tell me how much she enjoyed judging my book in the RWA contest and later introducing me to her agent for representation. Amazing! It’s truly a Pay it Forward occupation.

    • Maris Soule says:

      You are so right, Nancy. If I listed ALL of the people who have helped me in my journey in life and in writing, my blog would have gone on for pages and pages.

  2. Wow, what a blessing to have a friend like Sharon! I love the stories of generosity. I’ve noticed the same kind of thing since I’ve been a member of MMRWA. Writers on the whole are awesome people. 🙂

  3. Diane Burton says:

    I totally agree, Maris. If it wasn’t for you, Nancy Gideon, and the chapter members of Mid-Michigan RWA, my writing career wouldn’t have gone anywhere. Support, encouragement, and generosity are hallmarks of all the writers I know. And we truly do benefit when we help others–not that we do it for that reason. As Nancy says (above) Pay It Forward

  4. Maris Soule says:

    It truly is a two-way street. I’m glad I was of some help to you. I know you’ve been a help to me along the way. Thanks so much.

  5. Vicki Batman says:

    Hi, Maris! I agree that writers are generous people and your friend was truly an angel. I think if everyone lived a life of giving we all would be better for it. Love your story.

    • Maris Soule says:

      Vicki, I agree. In my husband’s case, she was an angel of mercy. He was exhausted by the time he reached that dock. He would have had to walk a half mile to reach a gas station, pulling a cart with two 5-gallon gas cans. I’m not sure he could have made it wihout her help.

  6. Great post, Maris! I’m learning more and more about the generosity of authors toward each other. I’m so glad your husband got the help he needed.

    • Maris Soule says:

      Patricia, I could have listed several more instances where another wirter has stepped forward and offered help. It truly is wonderful. I only hope I’ve “Paid it forward” enough.

  7. Absolutely Pay It Forward. Nice you’ve had so much good fortune in your life, Maris.

  8. How true, Maris. You are one of the first Mid-Michigan RWA writers that I met early on. Thank you for your honest yet kind suggestions that helped me grow as a writer.

    Hi Nancy, Margo, Kristen, Patty, Diane, and the rest of you MMRWA members yet to comment. I’d still be bumping around in the dark and not improving without your generous help.

    All the best, Annette

    • Maris Soule says:

      The thanks go both ways, Annette. Thank you for all you contribute to MMRWA, and thank you for the support you’ve given me and other writers over the years.

  9. Maris,

    Your blog is uplifting! I feel blessed to be part of the writing community as well.

  10. Melissa Keir says:

    Wonderful post. I’ve found authors to be the most amazing people and so helpful. I was glad to hear that someone was able to help your husband out. What a tale he will tell, or maybe you will in a future book!

    • Maris Soule says:

      Melissa, you may be right. Of course, he’s the one who should write about the adventure, but I can see it now. Damsel sees man in distress and comes to his rescue. Yeah, that could be the opening chapter of a new romance.

  11. You are so, right, Maris. Writers are generous souls. And so glad to hear that Sharon was there to help your Bill!

  12. Maris Soule says:

    Alyssa, Sharon was absolutely amazing. She is really a sweet person. I know Bill certainly appreciated her help.