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…
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Read on for my part in all this. *smile*
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)?Pin It