Southern belle with a story to tell. Refreshing iced tea served after literary punches thrown.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pay It Forward Mondays!

Let's Do This Together.

We're writers, and in case you haven't noticed, it's a solitary road we travel, and this is one of the reasons why I began this blog because there is much more strength in numbers.

If we're heading towards the goal of  becoming published authors, it only makes sense to seek others with similar goals so we can together improve our skills as writers, encouraging one another along the way.

As for me, I believe if writers band together and positively lift one another up, that the result will show in our work, and in our manuscripts.  The end result being we will create better manuscripts which will lead to a wonderful reading experience for every person who enjoys reading.

And this concept is a way we as writers can pay it forward, ultimately giving to everyone the gift of reading and standing strong together to encourage all to read, thus stamping out the wasteland of illiteracy.

Each Monday on Soul and Sweet Tea, (provided you get the information to me by Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time) I'll highlight blog contests or special events you may be hosting on your site, or from a writing group you may be a part of.  Know of a great lecture for writers that's free?  Let me know about it.

We're here for one another, lifting up one another, and one day I hope our effort will generate some fantastic books which will make people around the world get engaged in reading, which in turn,  changes lives.

That's the end result of the pay it forward:  more people reading.

And with more people around the globe inspired to read, we can change their lives forever, stamping out the pain of illiteracy.

So are you ready to come along with me?  We're going to have fun, strengthen friendships among our small writing communities, and maybe in time inspire a child somewhere to want to learn how to read, or engage an adult to want to take that first steps to overcoming illiteracy.

As of 2011, the United States had a literacy rate of 99%, which is good, but there is still a small segment of our population unable to read.  Sadly in other corners of the globe, such as in the country of Ethiopia the rate of literacy is only 28 percent.  The lowest literacy rate in the world (year 2011) was found in the country of Mali, which was only 26.2 percent.

We may think our little corner of the globe is immune to the pain of illiteracy, but it all comes out in the wash, because when we empower people to learn to read, we are opening up avenues of opportunity to them, allowing them to learn and grow and change some of their life circumstances.  All it takes is the desire and will to pick up and open a book and start.  Everyone must start somewhere, right?

I remember my son at age two and a half asking me in the local Barnes and Noble bookstore to purchase HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE because he saw the cool movie trailer.  I picked up the book, and looked down at my little guy and looked at the big book with very few pictures, and thought this will never work.  My cute little guy was too young to read, wasn't he?

He plead with me to please buy the thick book and I eventually gave in, and it was the best book purchase ever and lead to a series of wonderful events in our lives.  For reading that book became something we did each night together.  I'd hold him in my lap in a gliding rocker and read a chapter each night to him, and it became just something we did together...reading.  Our nightly reads lead to within two weeks, him being able to pick out short words from inside of that big, thick book and by age three he could read simple children's books by himself.  One person reading to another for fun and enjoyment created the beauty of literacy!

If that happened upstairs in my house, think what a good book could inspire globally!  All this takes is a few steps from us, paying it forward as we progress as writers, spreading seeds of promise along the way.

Every great goal begins with one little step forward, but if we multiply our actions by banding together and each of us TOGETHER taking that one little step forward, it's suddenly not little anymore-it's become a giant step!

Let's have a giggle and watch a few movie clips which to me, illustrate the power of paying it forward, one baby step at a time.
In the 1991 comedy, "What About Bob" we meet a guy who's scared of everything.  

The concept of "baby steps" begins to change Bob as he faces his fears (what I'd surmise as a debilitating case of agoraphobia), but something beautiful in the end happens as Bob changes the lives of those he meets through friendship.  That's the idea of "Pay It Forward Monday", where many baby steps become one giant, positive leap ahead.

Here's Bob again, as he is realizing the power of ALL of the baby steps forward he's taken,
 as he enjoys a day out on the water.  
Taking that first step together will bring us to amazing places.

What's going to be your first act of paying it forward to help out another writer?  Do you have an idea to help encourage people to learn how to read?  Put the information up on your blog and start yourself a "Pay It Forward Monday" post and send it to me and I'll post it here every Monday.  Maybe you already have on your blog a similar type of regular post?  Let me know.  Eventually we can start an army of writers, engaged in "Pay It Forward Monday" and helping one another out and hopefully in the end, we'll writing better books and encourage people everywhere to read!


Kela McClelland said...
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Jean Oram said...
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Joey Francisco said...
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