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May 15, 2012

Random Act of Kindness Blitz and a Giveaway!

Graphic for Random Act of Kindness

Did you see all the posts and tweets yesterday about the Random Acts of Kindness Blitz? (#RAOKBlitz on Twitter)  Two very generous authors, Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, of The Bookshelf Muse blog wanted to kick off the release of their book, The Emotion Thesaurus, in a unique way.

Just like how The Emotion Thesaurus helps writers brainstorm fresh ways of showing emotion, they wanted to launch their book in a non-cliché way.  Boy, did they ever succeed.

Instead of making their release date about them (and I’m totally breaking the rules by even talking about them and their book like this, but *pshaw* I’ve never been a rule follower), they made the day about writers supporting each other and showing appreciation through random acts of kindness (RAOK).  As Angela said in her email to the original participants:

“Imagine if Twitter flowed with Random Acts of Kindness #Hashtags, and everyone in the industry forgot about Self Published vs Traditional, forgot about Amazon vs the Publishing Industry, and instead…just remembered what brings us together and makes our community GREAT.”

If you take a look at their release day post, you can see how fabulous the turnout for this idea has been.  As of the time I’m writing this post, they have 147 participants.

I was blessed enough to receive not one, but two RAOKs yesterday.  Melinda Collins and her family were recently hit by the death of her mother-in-law, and yet she still wanted to reach out to others with multiple offers of critiques and beta readings.  And then Janice Hardy, one of my favorite bloggers (I’ve linked to various posts of hers approximately a bazillion times) and a true writing hero of  mine, singled me out, wrote kind things about me (that I can’t even think about without tearing up again), and offered me a critique as well.  Please visit both of their blogs and tell them how awesome they are.

Is Kindness Contagious?

I’d originally received the okay from Angela to post my RAOK a day late just because of my blog’s Tuesday/Thursday schedule, but then I started thinking about Angela and Becca’s real goal with RAOK.

This isn’t a book launch with a nice gesture thrown on top.  As Angela wrote in the email to us almost a month ago:

“Imagine if this RAOK Blitz event were only a spark, leading to something bigger, something greater. What if our collective Random Acts Of Kindness led to MORE Acts of Kindness? Is Kindness contagious? Let’s find out!”

Let’s find out, indeed.  Thanks to Melinda and Janice and so many others in the writing community, I’m overflowing with kindness and generosity today.  No joke.  *hugs everyone*  So here’s what we’re going to do…

  1. Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript.  The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough.  The author who generously offers council, advice, and inspiration when asked.  Each day, people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full.  This is especially true in the Writing Community.
  2. Send them an email, give them a shout out, or show your appreciation in another way.  Angela and Becca’s suggestions for RAOK Blitz include:
    • A book or ebook;
    • An offer to beta read their next story;
    • A pledge to donate some used books to a school or library in their name;
    • An offer to give them feedback on a query or first page, first chapter, etc.;
    • Mail them a small gift card to buy a book;
    • Send a (free) Thank You ecard;
    • Email a thoughtful note, telling them how much you appreciate them;
    • Or anything else you can dream up!
  3. Go to The Bookshelf Muse’s RAOK post and add your name to the list of RAOK Blitz participants.  While you’re there, pick up Angela and Becca’s RAOK Gift to Writers waiting for you.
  4. Leave a comment on this post and share your RAOK Blitz story here.  Let’s keep the kindness chain going.  Inspire others to reach out and do something for those in our community.
  5. Read on for my part in all this.  *smile*

Kindness Rocks!

My first act of kindness goes out to Michele Shaw.  Michele’s one of those genuinely nice people who we all wish we could have as a next-door neighbor.  She’s always there with support and understanding.  Poor Michele has been trying to move to a WordPress.org website for over a year—unsuccessfully.  So for my RAOK, I’m going to help her get her new website/blog set up.  If you have a minute, tell her how awesome she is (in fact, she’s so awesome, she’s doing her own Kindness Project at her blog!).

My second act of kindness goes out to all of you.  I’m like Angela and Becca.  I want to see RAOK continue to spread and grow.  The publishing industry is filled with bad news, lawsuits, arguments about the “best” path for publishing, etc., and I want us to put all that behind us, if only for a minute.

As I mentioned in #4 above, if you’ve participated in this RAOK Blitz, I want to hear about it.  To thank you for sharing your story here and encouraging others to pass a RAOK on, I’m doing a giveaway.

Leave your RAOK Blitz story in the comments by Midnight (Eastern Daylight Time) on Monday, May 21st, 2012.  I’ll select some random number of winners by some random method I haven’t figured out yet (this is RANDOM acts of kindness, right?), but more important are the prizes.  *smile*

  • I’ll be giving away at least one copy of The Emotion Thesaurus, an absolutely incredible resource for writers.  We’re always told to show instead of tell.  But how do we show emotion?  This book has the answers.  It’s a thesaurus of all those body language and visceral cues for emotional responses.  This book can be just what we need to improve our writing.
  • My Tech Guy will be giving away…  (Seriously, everyone, I can’t believe how awesome this is!) …at least one prize of a year’s worth of hosting for a website/blog, worth over $100!  You buy your domain name, and my Tech Guy will get you set up with a WordPress.org site (i.e. these aren’t the free WordPress.com sites that limit what you can do).  And he’ll also include your own email for your domain and the premium Thesis theme, so you can do your own website design and customizing.  Amazing, right?
  • If you already own The Emotion Thesaurus and you already have your own non-Blogger/non-WordPress.com website, leave your RAOK Blitz story in the comments anyway.  The prizes are all about encouraging each other to keep this going.  I’ll figure out some way to show my thanks for your participation if you’re a winner.

Have you been the recipient of a RAOK?  How did it affect you?  Have you participated in a RAOK before?  Do you think they help spread kindness?  Have you done something for this RAOK Blitz?  Tell me all about it!  If you’re a winner, which prize would you like (if you want The Emotion Thesaurus, would you want print or ebook)?

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Comments — What do you think?

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Donna B. McNicol [@donnabmcnicol]

Jami, you ROCK!!! What a wonderful thing to do. Off to Tweet this post out to my followers.

Angela Ackerman

Jami, I am floored. Seriously, thank you for the kind words and amazing support. You totally get what this is about, and what our goal was!
This is incredible to see how so many people can pull together like this. And your own offerings here from yourself and Tech Guy are amazing! I won’t enter of course, but I encourage everyone else to, and take advantage of this generosity. Ha, and you are a rule breaker, offering up a copy if the ET as a prize! But thank you, lol!

Michele is a great person. Really, isn’t this what it’s all about–celebrating all the great people who enrich our lives? I have always loved the spirit that drives RAOK to occur in the world, and using it to celebrate writers is icing on the cake!

Thank you for all you have done (and all you continue to do!) for the community!

Angela

Angela

Michele Shaw

AHHHHH! Jami, you are the best! Now tech guy will stop harrassing…um, I mean, gently prodding me to finish my site! It sucks being a techie fail. Thank you sooo much. I appreciate your kind words, your support, and the great work you do here on your blog. Get at me whenever you are ready!

Jami's Tech Guy (Jay)

What Michele, you’re paying me to host a site you’re not fully using. Is it wrong for me to worry about you feeling happy about the service you’re getting?

Though I mostly stopped worrying about it after we spent hours on the phone chatting while trying to get that nasty virus off your computer. 🙂

-Jay
@jaytechdad
(Michele’s Tech Guy Too)

D.B. Smyth

Jami,

You really are gold! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist). While I don’t need any of the prizes, I did want to say thank you for your heartfelt post. This is beautiful and I think you are a wonderful, amazing person. So grateful to know you!

As far as my own RAOKblitz experience, I am amazed at how quickly kindness comes full circle. I reached out to a couple of online peeps I adore and was blessed exponentially by the comments and emails they sent in return. I think that is the beauty of kindness… it never runs out. The more we share the more it grows, giving us more to share. Anyway, random thoughts. But I am so very grateful for a book launch and authors that remind me that publishing isn’t all about me or them, but about all of us helping each other to feel appreciated and giving us a place to belong. Thanks for being one of those authors.

Hugs & luvs,
Deb

Tahlia Newland

Maybe kindness is in the air, my soon to be published novella is all about the power of love and kindness. Radical stuff. It’s so good to see others on the same wavelength. An award winning author offered to beta read the novella for me, that was a huge RAOF, and I did the same (in great detail)nfor another writer. I make an effort to do helpful things for my fellow writers every day, retweeting, liking posts, sharing them, all that, so I am totally into this. Whenever someone does those kind of things for me, its a kindness. RAOK are all around us.

Melinda Collins

Hi Jami!

Happy ‘belated’ RAOK day! 🙂 I know I’m late in commenting everywhere but I wanted to stop in a say a quick ‘hi’ and thank you soooooo much for the awesome support during this time in our family. *hugs* I’m so glad to see you were the recipient of TWO RAOK’s! SO awesome, and you totally deserve it, hon! 😀

Miriam Forster

I’m so happy this RAOK week is continuing to ripple out! What a great thing to do. 🙂

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[…] finish this post, don’t forget to pass on a kindness to other writers who have helped you.  Leave a comment about your Random Act Of Kindness to inspire others and be entered into the Win-Win Giveaway. […]

Buffy Armstrong

It amazes me everyday just how helpful the writing community is. I know you hear about all of these controversies and divisions, but the reality is that most people are great. I have to say I’m new to the RAOK thing. I saw the tweets. I scratched my head. Thanks for explaining it. I’ll take this opportunity to thank a few people that have been very kind to me. 1) Jami Gold, you’ve been really nice and supportive. I appreciate it. 2) Beta Readers – Jay the Tech Guy, Angi Black and Amanda Byrne. You took the time to read and comment on my story. Thank you! 3) Nina Alvarez, writer and freelance editor extraordinaire who reads all of the stupid stuff I write and likes me anyways.

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[…] the Random Acts of Kindness Blitz and Giveaway! Jami Gold explains what it’s all […]

Renee Schuls-Jacobson

Jami! You are so cool! I have to say I admire and appreciate my writing partner, El Farris…and I tell her regularly. But there are a few other people I’d like to thank. So even if I don’t do all these things in time for your awesome giveaway, I will definitely do it. I saw the fabulous (and always generous) Gene Lempp give a little sumthin-sumthin to one of his favorite readers. I thought that was really cool.

And you know I’m a big believer in sharing the good things with each other. It’s my blogoversary month, so I’ve been doing random, queer stuff all month. This could just be a lovely random extra sumthin! 🙂

Kathrine Roid

*devours the amazon preview* This sounds like one good book.

I think I saw the hashtag once or twice, but never followed it up. I was very much a skimming tweeter yesterday. Thank you for the post – and giveaways! I’m looking into RAoK as I write this comment. It’s rather impossible to pass up a plea to be kind. 😀 The ol’ mind should come up with something clever overnight. Maybe I can host my own RAoK on my blog. May the snowball roll on!

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[…] for writers who have helped us, I’m happy to give people more time to be kind.  *smile*  Leave a comment about your RAOK to inspire others and be entered into the giveaway. *** Check out these related […]

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[…] Going along with the theme of this post, we all remember the Random Acts of Kindness Blitz that Angela and Becca started at The Bookshelf Muse to celebrate the release of their book, The Emotion Thesaurus, right?  In other catching-up news, I’d like to announce the winners of my Win-Win/Random-Act-of-Kindness Giveaway. […]

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