These past few weeks I’ve been reminded just how caring and giving the writing community can be and how beautiful writing with purpose is.
Sure, we’ve got the bad apples. Every bushel does. For the most part, though, when you stumble upon a mass of writers on social media or in a local critique group, they’re helping one another in some way or they’re finding ways to give back to readers or better their communities.
A great example of this is The Crux Anthology. Thanks to Rachael Ritchey’s generous spirit, a huge draw to this whole process has been the fact that all profits from the book go to Compassion International.
Knowing that upfront was one of the main reasons I decided to enter the competition back in the spring and part of why I’m so proud to be part of The Crux Crew. Though I certainly cannot speak for the entire cast of talented authors whose stories fill the covers of this compilation, I know several have mentioned this giving aspect as a drawing factor for them as well.
When we can use our God-given talents and abilities to help others in some way—however small—we find the truest joy in our work.
Frequently, I see authors dedicating book sales to various causes. Whether that effort nets a few buck or thousands, it’s a beautiful example of humans reaching out to others to help however they can.
Let’s be honest—most authors will never be rich. Some write only for the joy of the process. Others hope to sell enough copies to pay for publishing costs; and still others—like me—desire to build a business that can be sustainable for their families.
Regardless of their ultimate goals in the literary industry, authors tend to be among the first to look for ways to give back. I am proud to be a small part of this and plan to continue this spirit of generosity through all my literary endeavors. While I continue to develop and build my business plan with a desire to succeed for my family, giving remains a huge part of it.
If we don’t share what we can when we can with others, then what is the higher point?
I want to share a few of these plans with you today because I’d love to hear ways you or an author you follow have used your talents to give back. Perhaps my plans will encourage you to find ways you can use your talents in your community—or further—to help others and give back as well.
Often, books inspire giving.
My debut novel, which I hope to publish in 2019, encourages generosity to many outstanding causes because various characters face different challenges.
My main character (MC), Jack Calhoun, enlists in the Marine Corps where he becomes a Scout Sniper. I have my eyes on an organization that I hope to contribute to first and can’t wait to share more on that next year. If I am financially able to set up my press early in the year, I hope to release this book in plenty of time for a charity drive over November 10, 11 and 12—the Marine Corps birthday, Veterans Day and my brother’s birthday.
My brother Justin has played a huge role in assisting me with this book, especially the Marine parts. I’ll never forget attending all his graduations and ceremonies throughout his time in the Corps. His stories and those of other Marines in my life made making my MC a Marine a simple decision. It seems only right that my first choice for donations would be USMC-related.
In addition to this organization, I plan to donate proceeds from this book to a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center near me and an organization to benefit individuals with Down Syndrome.
The novella that will be a prequel of sorts to this novel will benefit an organization that hosts a camp for children who have lost a parent, guardian or sibling—Camp Savannah. It would also be perfect to benefit organizations focused on cancer care. I’m specifically looking for organizations that reach out to families with young children whose mothers have a terminal illness. If you have any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate an email.
Other times, giving inspires books!
Sunday, I began brainstorming and planning with a fellow writer for a book that will benefit a very special group in our area. I cannot wait to tell you more about it … and be far less vague when I do! If the group likes the idea and if this book can benefit them, our tentative plan is for a 2020 publication.
Charitable giving will continue to be a big part of my marketing plans for each book I publish. Whether I schedule special donation drives or put a project’s entire proceeds toward a good cause, I will always look for ways to help outstanding organizations.
Giving doesn’t always mean money.
Another way I will continue to give back is with time and influence in my own community.
I have taught writing, reading and speech classes in the past in our homeschooling community. This is something I’d like to do more in the future, if possible. Instilling the love of reading and writing in children—especially those who may have been reluctant before—brings so much joy.
My family has always been frequent visitors at our local public library, and we look forward to doing whatever we can to give back there. In addition, I’m planning two book drives in our community this year and can’t wait to see how many books we can gather. The first will be with our American Heritage Girls Troop. In January, our girls will be gathering books to give to the T.A.R.D.I.S. Little Free Library—yes, our town has THE coolest LFL ever! The next drive came about through the suggestion of a sweet friend of mine at church. I have been doing some straightening and ordering in our church library. I mentioned to my friend Heather some books I’d love to see in there, and she suggested we do a book drive for them!
Many authors and others are currently donating to disaster relief in California. If you’re already planning to purchase books this month, be sure to check out the author’s website. You may be surprised to see how they’re giving back. Here are a few authors from around social media who were kind enough to share their current giving plans with me:
Mark Huntley-James and many other writers have contributed short stories to various anthologies produced by the One Million Project (OMP) with the goal to raise one million pounds/dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK. Mark is an absolute delight in our writing community. He blogs regularly for OMP, and his contributing story is titled “While We Were Sleeping.” One of my favorite things is to sip my coffee while reading his anecdotes of life with his feline friends … and the occasional nuisance—looking at you, Thug!
David Beckler and fellow writers put together The Road More Travelled: Tales of Those Seeking Refuge. This anthology benefits another UK organization, Refugee Council.
I’m excited about all the opportunities to give in 2019 and would love to hear from YOU!
What are some ways you can give back in your own community? Whether you’re a writer, a CEO, a stay-at-home mom or a truck driver, you have talents that can help someone. Maybe you have money to donate. Maybe you have the ability to raise money. Or, perhaps you know ways your time and willing spirit to help can benefit others. Whatever it is, I’d love to hear about it!
Do you follow other writers who donate proceeds from their work? What are some drives that caught your eye?