Kindness

Jessie:

Surrounded by dragonflies and wild asters in the Granite State

I recently discovered that September is Be Kind To Editors & Writers Month. It made me give some serious thought as to how someone would go about implementing this sentiment. I am very fond of my own editor and try to be kind by meeting my deadlines, communicating with courtesy, and realizing my books are not her only responsibility.

But what about writers? How is it best to be kind to them? The first things that come to mind are to buy books written by your favorite authors and tell other people that you enjoyed them. Word of mouth from readers keeps the writers you love in business. And while on the subject of buying books, it would be kind to purchase books that are still in print new instead of used.

librarycartAsking your library to carry books by your favorite authors is another tremendous kindness. Writers love libraries and we all feel so privileged to be included in library collections. If I had to guess most writers still working on being published  have stood in a library at the spot their books would be alphabetically shelved and imagined their work there. I know I have.

Writing a letter to a writer whose work you enjoyed is another kindness.I can’t speak for everyone but I know I love to hear from readers. Writers generally work in isolation instead of on a team or in a setting that provides any sort of real time feedback. We take a bunch of disjointed bits from the world around us and spend the better part of a year turning them into what we hope will be worthy of our readers’ time. I can’t tell you how many times I have been having a tough week on the work front when a letter arrives from a reader saying he or she had fun in my imaginary world. And miraculously, the work gets easier and the week gets better.

Finally, and I think, most importantly, show the kids in your life that you value reading. Share your passion for stories with them by taking them to a story time at the library or reading to them at night before bed. Be the relative or family friend who gives books as gifts. You may find you are helping to encourage the next generation of writer.

4 Thoughts

  1. Wonderful tips, Jessie. If I can add one more: when you finish reading a book you liked, post a positive review of it somewhere. Amazon, Goodreads, facebook, twitter, your church newsletter – wherever you can. That is a great kindness to the author.

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