There is something to be said about the kindness of strangers.
These are the people who go out of their way and help us, expecting nothing in return. These people may help us in an emergency, such as a flat tire on the side of the highway, they may keep us from making a terrible mistake like walking out into traffic when we are not paying attention. Then there are those who help us just because they have been there before, and do not want us to make the same mistakes, no matter how common or uncommon those mistakes may be.
These people all have the pay it forward type of attitude, and that is what makes them stand out and rise above the rest.
I would like to talk about three of these people, strangers, whom I have not met offline, all three have shown me unbelievable amounts of kindness, and have saved me from what could have been very costly mistakes, in the writing industry.
The first is Jamie Wallace.
Jamie has been reading this blog since, well, day one.
Out of the gate she offered advice to me as far as finding my “VOICE”
She saved me from submitting my manuscript with all sorts of spelling and grammatical errors. Jamie did not need to do any of the things she has done to help me, but she has, and not once has she ever asked for anything in return.
Here is an actual email that Jamie had sent to me early on.
“I also wanted to let you know quickly that I did give your manuscript a read. I like the theme and found the characters to be very original. One thing you might want to consider is trying to focus a bit more on the “show don’t tell” technique. In a couple of places you state the “moral” of the story in “so many words.” In my experience, kids prefer to just have the story and figure out its message on their own. That’s something you might want to explore. I also noticed a number of spelling and grammatical errors. Those can be the kiss of death when you’re submitting to an agent or publisher.”
Jamie’s site Suddenly Marketing
Next we have Sean Platt.
Sean has been instrumental in me growing as a writer, Sean has a saying ” I did it, so can you” and he has been an inspiration to me since the day I became friends with him.
I have asked him numerous questions, “Hey Sean how do I do this?” “Sean what do you think of this?” and so on. Sean is always quick with an answer, not only an answer but the right answer.
This is an email he sent to me answering one of my questions.
“Looks good, Jim. My only feedback would be to trim all unnecessary words. I trim about 20% of my drafts and edit three times to really scrub them. Especially with the sort of copy you were writing that was action driven, fewer words drive urgency.”
Sean’s site The Digital Writer
Now I would like to talk about Melissa Foster.
Melissa is an author, & founder of Melissa Foster dot-com, Fostering Success, and the World Literary Cafe.
I am a member of The World Literary Cafe, which is an invaluable website if you are a writer trying to become an author.
Melissa helped me just yesterday as a matter of fact, without me even asking. She took time out her busy schedule of being an author, a mother of six, and running all three websites to say to me she would look over my query letter before I sent it out and give me her input on it.
Although I wrote one hell of a query letter, she had a couple of suggestions which I followed.
She took a great letter and made it better.
Jamie, Sean, and Melissa have gone out of their way to help me, and not one of them has ever asked me for anything in return, even though I have made it clear I would return the favor should they need help with something.
They have all helped me because they have all been right where I am now, and because they are as kind as they are, they want to see me succeed in my quest of becoming a successful published author.
Thank you guys for all your help.
Please take some time and go visit the sites linked to each of my friends here, they really are great.
I would also like to thank each and every one of you who read this blog, you all have been an inspiration to me in the way you show your support of me, I am proud to call you all friends.
You all know I have a children’s picture book coming out, whether it is going to be published traditionally or as an indie on kindle and the like, is still up in the air, the race is on, so to speak.