Friday, February 4, 2011

Pay it forward

I've been thinking about writing this for quite a while now, and since Shelli at Market My Words is holding a contest for just this thing, I think it's time.

There are many people who have supported my writing: my husband, my kids, my friends and family, but there is one in particular to whom I am indebted.

When I finally decided to take my writing seriously, I joined SCBWI. I sent an email introducing myself to the regional leader and soon received a reply that put me in touch with the other SCBWIers in my city. They're all terrific, but one, in particular, has taken me under her wing and made me believe I can really do this writing thing.

That someone is Jen K. Blom, author of the soon-to-be-released Possum Summer. Jen took me in, sent encouraging words when I needed them, and gave me kind, but brutally honest feedback on my first novel. She sent gentle nudges, asking how the rewriting was going, and when it was (almost completely) rewritten, she read it again. She has helped me tweak my query letter and has been there with supportive words every time I've gotten frustrated. Without Jen's unfailing support, I would not be getting ready to query right now.

I am incredibly grateful to Jen, and I know I can never repay her. But I can pay it forward and provide the same support to others just starting their journey. I only hope I can be as helpful to others as Jen has been to me.

Who has helped you on your journey?

(If you're looking for the answer to last week's Fact or Fiction Friday: it was fact. We were unbelievably lucky to get home.)


  1. You are so fortunate to find someone like that! The closest I come to that are my online critters, who do a fine job, though not to the fully personal level that you get (which I believe can help far more).

  2. Aw man.

    You just made me cry at physical therapy!!!

    Thank you!!!! *wipes eyes*

  3. Ted: I am! I'm lucky as all get-out.

    JKB: Didn't mean to interfere with PT, but it's all true. *hug*

  4. Hi, great blog :o)

    A few years ago my husband booked me a one-day writing workshop with an author I really admired who happened to live locally, and her encouragement and enthusiasm really inspired me to carry on.

    Apart from that, the Internet opened up a whole new world of support and feedback and I'm certain without it I wouldn't have come as far as I have.

  5. Hi Karen, thanks! What a great gift from your husband. :)

  6. My wife got me going, my test readers got me going in the right direction, and my blogger friends have kept me going.

  7. What a beautiful tribute! My sister, Noelle, who is also a writer, is my constant support system. It's such a blessing to have someone so close to me who shares the passion I feel for writing. What a gift!

    Thanks for the follow, and I look forward to reading your answers for the Bernard Pivot Blogfest!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. Well, you for one! But it continues to amaze me how supportive children's writers are of each other. There are so many people who have already helped me along the way, I feel like I'll have an acknowledgement list a mile long WHEN I get a book published!!

  9. I pay a lot forward and rarely ask for anything in return. Once in a while lunch. A couple tacos or a burger will suffice. But usually I offer assistance and such because I like to help people.

  10. Hello Alison, popping over to say, 'Hi'. Great blog! :-)

  11. What a wonderful gift to have Jen in your life when you needed her most! She sounds great.