I'm giggling like a fiend at that blog title...but seriously, it's the topic this week.
Ok, fine. Specifically, it is: Three ways to "Pay it Forward" as a Writer. I know we're supposed to give you, dear readers, three examples of ways to give back as a writer, but, yanno, one possibly unnecessary hyphen and a well-placed comma and this would be not only a completely different topic, but perhaps, a battle cry that would change the landscape of writers' conventions everywhere.
Three-ways, to pay it forward as a writer.
Ahhh hahahahaha....but enough with the silliness. (I hope you laughed as much as I did...)
Three (ahem) Different Ways that I Pay It Forward as an Author:
1.) Attending Conventions. I go and meet people. When possible, I talk on panels and hopefully convey an approachable demeanor. I tell my story and explain that I chased the dream for over twenty years before getting a break. It's part of my job, I feel, to tell them that they are on the right path going to cons, attending panels and workshops, and meeting other writers. The truth about writing is not always lovely good news, but they need to hear it. They need to know this is a business, a tough one, but one they can learn to navigate. And they need to come away wiser and inspired. No one wants to have the stars torn from their eyes.
2.) Public Appearances. Workshops at conventions, doing signings, giving talks at libraries, whatever, wherever. Open the door to talk to people who want to write, who have started, who are thinking of starting, who aren't sure what the next step is... newbies will show up with burning questions. They see us as already doing what they want to do and we should offer encouragement and information when we can. I am always receptive to questions and will point folks in the right direction to the best of my ability.
3.) Schools and Colleges. Every year, I meet with my kids' teachers for conferences and I tell them, anytime I'd be happy to come in and spend a day talking to their different classrooms about any part of the process they want and answer the student's questions --without any sales agenda on my mind. (I wish authors would have come to my classroom when I was younger.) So talk to middle grade and senior high teachers. See if they have a means to get you in the class room--not to promote your books, but to promote writing. **I think there is far too much focus on mechanics of English in the classroom. Not that the mechanics are bad, but I think there tends to be excessive focus on how when the whole point is to use the language--and not just for reports or thesis statements. I think everyone should write more in school and practice communicating with the written word more (not n ur shortened text either).