The Kindness of Strangers

writing support

We hear about the kindness of strangers every so often, and for a little while it restores our faith in humanity. Yesterday during a writing related event I had my most recent brush with this pure, unselfish type of kindness. It was a light, brief interaction, but it touched me deeply enough to make me tear up.

Yesterday was the Twitter Pitch Party known as #PitMad. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term—as I was just a few weeks ago—a pitch party is a day where authors tweet about their books, and book professionals (mostly agents but editors as well) hunt those tweets for enticing new stories. If an agent likes a tweet, that is an invitation for that author to send more info about their book to him.

For us authors, it is a big deal to be invited to send your query. We can spend months (years even?) sending unsolicited queries and getting nowhere. Contacting an agent who has shown interest in your project gives you a leg up.

Because of the time difference (and also the fact that dealing with life and balancing social media can be tricky) I had scheduled my tweets to post at specific times. What did I expect? I knew, because I had done my research about how best to word the pitch, that it would get a few takers. But what I didn’t expect AT ALL from this pitch party was the amazing support of other authors.

I say this not because I think people are evil or antagonistic, but because in an event like this, I figured, authors are concerned with their own work, their own pitches. I was blown away by the fact that people I have never met—not even online!—were supporting me by retweeting my posts to help me get more exposure. They made comments of “sounds interesting” or “wow” to show their support. They gave me a few moments of their time, and it truly affected me.

I have always been a supporter. I cheer my fellow writers on and pass on any information I think could help them. I believe in paying it forward, in writing and in life. But sometimes I fall into a funk, and figure, “My support really doesn’t matter. My words are just words; they won’t mean anything to this person.” And then something like this happens. And I remember how important it is to encourage others, and how it ALWAYS makes a difference, even if you never get to see that.

May you always remember to pay it forward. And may it come back to you a thousand times over. Because when it does, that’s truly one of the best feelings.

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