Doing Favors

Over the past five years, I’ve immersed myself in the writing world as much as I can. If I didn’t have kids and a day job (that doesn’t involve writing), I’m sure I’d be able to surround myself with even more of the writing life. But I do what I can. And part of that “can” is interacting with authors here in my area of the country as well as in other parts of the world via social media. I’ve met these authors at conferences and other gatherings, as well as through my profile writing/editing at Literary Mama.

I love interacting with these folks and I’ve learned so much by doing so. Most of them have been in the boat of aspiring novelist before. Many of them have shared their words of wisdom or told me what has worked for them. Most of them have said to “never give up.”A few of them have asked for favors.

What kind of favors can a little ole writer in Kettering, Ohio do? In this day of social media madness, plenty. I’ve liked countless Facebook pages and sent out tweets when a book launches. I’ve shared information regarding classes these folks are teaching, and what their book tour schedules are like. Right now, I’m in the midst of reading a book, one that will publish this summer, so that I can write up a glowing review (if I feel that I honestly can). I love helping other people succeed, so in truth, I’m happy to do these favors. And as several people have pointed out, perhaps someday, one of these people will do a return favor for me.

But every once in a while, a person can get favored out. And sometimes, I feel as though I’ve done what I can do for a person and I’ve experienced no reciprocation. And what do I do when that happens? Not a whole lot. I keep promoting their work because I feel like the Universe will bless me if I do. But I’ll be honest: I do so grudgingly. What can I say, I’m human, you know?

So when I encounter an author who asks almost nothing of me, I stand back and wonder what makes a person different, sort of like I did the other day.

Now, granted, we’re working on putting together a profile of this person for Literary Mama, so she is getting something out of this deal, but when I apologized for our lack of clarity with respect to a publishing date she simply said,

No need to apologize! People seem to be discovering this book in their own time, and so I’m happy that the review will be coming out in X. Happy to help you with any information that you need.

I swear to you that when I read that second line, “People seem to be discovering this book in their own time,” that I heard an entire choir of angels sing and the proverbial clouds parted. What a refreshing change of pace. No mention of Tweeting or posting on Facebook or Instagram. No attachment regarding her book tour. Nothing. Just a simple, it will happen when it happens.

I decided then and there that I will do a favor for this person and her books from now until eternity. And, I’ll be happy to do so each and every time. In the meantime, I plan on making her joyful, positive attitude a part of my every day mantra. I can only hope that other people will as well.

Written by

Christina Consolino is a mother, dreamer, author, editor and teacher from Dayton, Ohio. She's a member of the Plot Sisters and teaches Anatomy & Physiology at Sinclair Community College. She writes literary women's fiction, personal essays and more.