Sunday, May 5, 2013

Paying It Forward


I am pretty sure there’s already been a blog post about this. However, I just thought I’d add my little two cents into the mix…

Over the last few months, I’ve been approached by a few writers, established and aspiring, who have either asked me to beta their work, suggest recommendations regarding publishing houses, or just some friendly advice about the entire publishing process. Of course, I am happy to help in any way that I can. While I don’t profess to be an expert (not in the least), I can only share with them my experiences.

When I first started on my writing journey, basically, I had no one to ‘go to’ with questions and concerns and how to go about getting published. It was quite by accident that I stumbled upon places like Preditors & Editors, Absolute Write forums, and such, where I could lurk about and research the answers to the questions I had, or, when I got brave enough, to ask timid questions. The first thing I learned was that writers are a friendly, gregarious bunch of people who seem to prefer social media interactions than real time ones (well, I think). I felt right at home. They were all eager to help out, to which I’m grateful for.

Eventually, after toiling through the process of submissions and queries, blurb and synopsis writing, and the whole mad dance writers need to learn and master, I became a published writer (I still think out of sheer luck that that has happened). Of course, like learning to drive, even though you pass the test, the real lessons come after you get your license. I’m still learning by the way, and know to expect accidents and wrong-turns and getting flagged by the traffic police. So it’s a constant check and recheck of my indicator lights, speed limit, side and rear mirrors, oil and gas, brake fluids, and making sure my windshield wipers are in proper working order. Phew! Pretty exhausting, but such is the life of a writer.

But I wouldn’t be doing any of this without the help of editors (shouting out Judy Griffith Gill, heyyy!), and advice from fellow writers from Champagne/Burst (T.M Hunter, K.M TolanMichael W. Davis a.k.a. Big Mike, or more commonly known as BM, and the late Jim Woods) or by simply observing what seasoned veterans do (Allison Knight, Julie Eberhart Painter, Victoria Roder, Linda LaRoque, and many more). I feel it’s also prudent that I mention those not with Champagne Book Group (JC Cassels, Cary Caffrey, Laurel Kreigler, Patrick Stutzman, Heidi Ruby Miller, to name but a few), because through their friendship and help, advice and by simply observing what they do throughout my journey has been invaluable.

I THANK YOU ALL!

So, there you have it. Without the help and advice of many, I’d still be lurking about chewing my lips and wondering what to do next. And to anyone out there who hasn’t a clue where to start, and wouldn’t mind some assistance from a post-learner/still an acolyte writer…shout me out. I’m happy to help and do my bit in paying it forward.

Cheers!

17 comments:

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

You are welcome. I didn't do much, but we shared an exchange or two of interviews, and then you drove off to accomplish more.

Writers are exactly as you describe them. I've found this in many organizations and publishing houses.

Naomi Stone said...

And thank you! for a bit of hand holding when I first signed on with Champagne. Judy Gill was my editor for my first two e-books and I was sorry to learn she recently retired.

A bit of paying forward today: I was writing long-hand while I had a late lunch at my local fast-food joint, and a young girl in the next booth looked over and told me how much she liked the way I was writing.

Not what, but how! It turns out that they are not teaching cursive writing skills in third grade the way they did when I learned.

I wrote out the cursive alphabet (and her name in cursive) for her, and left her practicing the new skills.

~ Laramie Sasseville
writing as Naomi Stone

TKToppin said...

@Julie - You did plenty. Though our interaction was short and sweet, I still learned much from you simply by watching how you 'do it.'

@Naomi - You're welcome! And I'm glad I was able to help out!! And I know what you mean. I do calligraphy as well (graphic artist by day) and it's a dying art. My young nephews & nieces all say: what are writing/penmanship lessons? Some have atrocious handwriting!

Cary Caffrey said...

Pretty soon I'll be comin' to you to hit you up to some alpha-reading help. Look out!

Patrick Stutzman said...

I feel like you've done more for me than the other way around. I should be thanking you.

So, thank YOU!

JC Cassels said...

I wouldn't have gotten this far without you, either. You are awesome and I lift this glass to you! Cheers and thank you!

TKToppin said...

Bring it on, Cary! Thanks for stopping by!!

TKToppin said...

Just doing my bit. And your friendship's plenty!

TKToppin said...

Thank you and cheers back!!

Judy Griffith Gill said...

Hey, all I did was take one helluva good book and check it for spelling and grammar and maybe shuffle a word or two here and there. You're the one who made it happen, windshield wipers and all. But thanks for the pat on the back.
Hugs,
Judy

Many Genres One Craft said...

I am humbled, T. K., that you include me in that special group. You have inspired me many times over.

:) Heidi

Heidi Ruby Miller said...

And apparently I was still signed in under the MGOC profile on that last one. Good thing I usually sign my posts.

;) Heidi

linda_rettstatt said...

Very nice post. I think it's important that we take what we learn and pay it forward. It's always good to be reminded to do so. I've been blessed to encounter very talented and generous writers who've helped me in my writing journey.

TKToppin said...

You're welcome, Judy. As always!

TKToppin said...

Of course I have to mention you! Duhh... :)

TKToppin said...

Absolutely!! Thanks!

Laurel C Kriegler said...

Not 100% sure what I did, but you're welcome :-)