Pay It Forward Thursday


Pay It Forward Thursday

Helping others through an attitude of gratitude…

Have you ever noticed that the happiest people, are also thankful people? I’m not talking about the kind of temporary happiness that only lasts while everything is going well, but the kind that overflows, even when circumstances aren’t so great.

Feeling a sense of gratitude, even in the little things, goes a long way in lifting up and maintaining a joyful spirit.

I have to work at it sometimes, but I have a few friends with that kind of spirit that seems to pour out of them naturally. Those are the people that I prefer to be around. It’s a little like having your own cheerleaders, helping you to stay charged up and moving forward.

So, I want to take a few moments to share a few things I am thankful for.

First and foremost are God, my family, and my friends. They are the greatest blessings in my life, and I absolutely cherish them.

I am thankful for my home, and the beauty of my surroundings, and the peacefulness I feel here.

I am also grateful for the folks that encouraged me to write so long ago. Without their encouragement, I probably would have never considered becoming an author.

I’m especially thankful for the kindness of other writers that helped me to learn the trade, improve my skills, and even shared my work with others.

Paying it forward…

Many years ago, when I started my first blog, I was blessed in getting to know some pretty awesome folks.

In the world of business, it often seems that competition creates an atmosphere of trying to “out-do” everyone else. Traditionally, it means that you don’t help your rivals succeed.

But I found the opposite to be true in the writing industry, especially with the independent authors. I think it comes from knowing how tough it is to get started in this business, particularly in promoting the work, and most of the authors I’ve met tend to enjoy helping each other.

One such author I met years ago, shared an idea he had that not only helped to grow his audience, but also helped others to grow theirs. He did this by building trust, not only with his readers, but with fellow authors as well. He learned that while self-promotion is a necessary part of an author’s work, if it is over-done it will turn folks off.

Instead of a “look at me, look at me” mindset, he began sharing the work of others, folks that he admired in some way. He devoted one day each week to a list of personal recommendations that he shared with his audience, including links to those books, websites, and resources. He also interacted with folks in a sincere and friendly way, creating a genuine atmosphere of friendship.

There is a spirit of thankfulness when someone gives you praise for your efforts. When someone takes the time to share your work or recommend you to others, it brings a sense of satisfaction and reward that money cannot buy. A connection is established, reputations are built, and friendships are made.

Connecting with others is a major part of why I write.

So, with a pay-it-forward kind of spirit, I’d like to show my thankfulness for some folks whose work and character I admire. Some have inspired me, some have given me valuable advice, others have promoted my work, and others that I may not know personally but I like their work.

Let’s begin with a few authors…  

I’ll start with Pam Thorson. I met Pam through my blog about 7 years ago, when she gave me a “like” on one of my articles and left an encouraging comment. I replied to her comment, and a conversation started. We began following each other’s blogs, did interviews of each other, and promoted each other’s books. Pam’s story inspired me, helping to strengthen my resolve to keep going, even in the toughest situations. Her strong, but kind and caring heart earns her a place of recognition and deep respect from me. Visit her at: http://www.pamthorson.com/

Next, I want to give thanks to Mike Dillard for the knowledge and training in marketing and promotion. I learned the hard way that there are many devious-minded folks that make a fortune from basically scamming people with empty promises of teaching them how to be successful. But Mike proved himself, not only through his successful track record, but also in his desire to actually help others. While he makes available what is referred to as a “high-end package” (a complete step-by-step course with full membership of high value), he also remembered his own humble beginnings, with little money to invest in such a high cost. So, he broke his package down into single guidebooks and references at a more affordable price for those just starting out. He believes in investing in yourself and continuous learning. And each of his products stand alone, allowing you to start off on a smaller scale to begin earning while you’re learning. He even shares a good deal of helpful knowledge and insight for free, his way of paying it forward. You can learn more about what he does at: https://mikedillard.com/

Last, but not least, on the list of authors for today is my friend, Seumas Gallacher. I originally met Seumas through twitter. He’s what I call a “friendly Scottish gentleman”, with a great big heart and wonderful sense of humor. I’ve always had a fondness for Scotland, so I was easily drawn to his writing because he writes with an accent. Every time I read his blog, I hear the words in my head with a Scottish accent, and he makes me laugh. His books are primarily of the crime-thriller genre, though he has also published books on blogging and promotion. Seumas’ referral to himself as “an ol’ Jurassic scribbler” and down to earth friendliness earned him a reputation in my book as a friend. For a peek into his work: https://seumasgallacher.com/

Resources for the writers…

While learning through practicing the craft gives writers a strong foundation, there’s no need to learn everything the hard way. One of the greatest resources I have used in helping to hone my skills is FaithWriters. They promote writing contests, challenges, gentle critique, forums, and opportunities for finding paid work in writing. Through sharing some of my articles and receiving positive feedback on their site, I was encouraged to enter a few contests they were promoting. I won 2nd place in one of those contests, which was a great boost to my self-confidence. Another contest earned me a position as 1 of 40 co-authors in a book published by FaithWriters on Amazon, Trials and Triumphs. Whether you are a beginner, or a seasoned author, if you are a person of faith, I highly recommend this site: https://www.faithwriters.com/

Another invaluable resource for writers that I have used is Writers Digest. The entire site is devoted to helping writers with everything from learning how to write, to promoting their work, finding agents, and getting published (self & traditional). They are considered by many to be one of the go-to leaders in the industry for writers of all levels. I highly recommend starting off with their free advice articles first if you’re just getting started. (I always recommend starting with the free stuff first, to see if it’s a good fit for you, like a try-before-you-buy thing. If you find it useful and can afford to, then by all means, invest in your knowledge and yourself!) For more information, their address is: https://www.writersdigest.com/

This list contains just a few of those I am thankful to. I’ll be sharing more next Thursday, continuing to pay-it-forward.

An invitation…

If you are interested in being added to my weekly pay-it-forward list, or know someone you would like to see promoted, subscribe to my email list here, and receive the newsletter with the information on being added.

I also want to thank everyone that signed up to follow my blog, and for the likes. The writing is a reward in itself, but those little pats-on-the-back always give a boost to my heart.

That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with more Friday Fun. In the meantime, have a Happy Pay-It-Forward Thursday!  – Amber

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