In a previous ice age
Ice ages ago, I decided to make this writing and publishing thing my life’s work. For years I sat back and observed, read style guides and grammar manuals, took classes, attended conferences and workshops, and connected with bloggers, writers, editors, agents, publishers. I asked a few hundred questions. I learned a lot and dug up new bits of bone every day.
There is no way I could thank all the nice dinosaurs who have helped me. What I can do is help others. Provide resources. Direct my friends to blogs that I love. Suggest websites.
Fast-forward, 2012 A.D.
I find a blog, website, or tasty bit of information … even if it doesn’t apply to what I am working on during this ice age, I think, “Ah, Stacy-saur might like this.” Or, “Crikey, Susannah-don would love this!” Or, “Shawn-a-saurous will spit fire when she sees this!”
Yes, it takes a few minutes – I have to copy the link, pull up my friend’s email or Facebook page, and I have to type, “I thought you might find this helpful …”
Be a feel-good leaf eater
These personal dino-a-dino exchanges make me feel good: to share information that could make the difference to a writer after rejection letter #113, to offer inspiration when a blogger is struggling with his/her next post, to let someone know I am thinking about them when they are feeling overwhelmed or munched on by a meat-eater.
Throw all my social networking connections into a big nest, it’s probably a thousand connections; even if one leaf-eater finds merit in a link or blog I share, I do the happy-dino dance.
Sometimes this biz is like a prehistoric shark feeding frenzy. I remember how I felt when I first stepped into this quagmire. It can suck you in, suffocate you, and squash your dreams with heavy-tread archeologist boots.
Don’t use others as stepping stones or for their talents then toss their bones aside as you move on to your next meal.
Instead of being a chomper, be a friendly paw up. Help someone out of the quagmire.
A bunch of us vege-saurus types are having a leaf-eating party and suddenly a mean ole T-rex tromps in and starts biting. What a party-pooper.
I remember the day I realized not every dino was at this party to help others. What a sobering the-meteor-is-coming day that was. It was yucky – like biting into the pterodactyl egg salad after it had been sitting in the sun for three centuries.
Don’t be a meat-eater
Try instead being a pay-it-forward stegosaurus or iguanodon. When the archeologists dig up your bones, they’ll say, “Ah! This was a nice dinosaur.”