Giveback: n. A previously negotiated workers’ benefit relinquished to management, as for some concession was given.
adj. 1. Accustomed (to) by habit, etc. 2. Specified. 3.assumed; granted – n. something assumed or accepted as fact.
As a writer, I love nothing more than sitting myself in the chair to write, write, write. The introvert side of me could easily ignore many aspects functioning as a human, such as having the balance of making a living, relationships, leisure time, and giving back to your community. In the writing community, there are plenty of ways to giveback all of which are incredibly rewarding.
Though, it’s still a struggle for me not to put my blinders on my writer’s eyes and just worry about writing my current story. My Finished manuscript calls out to me loud and clear. I like nothing more than abiding by my self-made deadlines, and ignoring the rest of the world. But that way of thinking is selfish and believe it or not less productive than being energized by gIving back and helping others.
Over the years, I’ve done my share of volunteering from giving blood, to being a mother helper at school, and routinely helping at church, donating time and effort to food banks, etc. On the writing side of life, I’ve also been involved with writing groups that physically get together once a week to read and critique each other’s work. Other times I’ve been an island by myself and trying to make sense of my works, badgering my spouse to be my first reader (like Stephen King’s wife), and hinting around to friends who like to read, hoping they might want to read my books before or after publication.
Almost a year ago, I was invited to join an online writing group on Facebook. I feel privileged to have found the Indie Authors Support and a Discussion online writing group. Before that time, sure I’d review various Indie books that I’d read, but that was my extent of giving back to the writing community. What was missing in my life was all the helpful discussions, because a hundred plus like-minded heads are better than one. In this playground, everybody plays an important part of posting questions and bouncing ideas off one another.
I’ve found plenty of occasions to beta read for others and many others have done the same for me. I’ve given feedback on future covers, getting and giving ideas on formatting, advertising, sharing what works and doesn’t work in publishing digital and printed books, crying on each other’s virtual shoulders, etc.
For me, IASD, and a select few other online groups have taken my writing to the next level. If you think about it in the light of lifelong learning, a writing group that you’re vested in is as valuable as getting a Masters Degree in Literature. That’s how I view this opportunity.
Many in this group and another private group I’m involved in have volunteered as admin and have much more time and skills put forth to the cause than I have offered. I’ve only participated in the discussions and support part, but it benefits writers. So hats off to the admin teams of the writing world. Your time given is a lifeline to writers who are part of these groups. I aspire to help out wherever I can. I for one appreciate all you do and look to your dedication as an example.
I’ll continue to volunteer as part of the chat room because I feel like I’m helping others in some small way, even allowing me to continue to find my voice and give back to a community that has given me so much. I continue to work towards volunteering more, but because of all the support I’ve received, I’ve learned I’m more than a writer standing (or sitting) alone. I’ve become a happier wife, a friend to many all over the world, and finally, a more fulfilled writer.