Friday, September 12, 2008

Kindness Matters...Proven!

Everyone’s heard the saying “Nice guys finish last.” You might even remember the Green Day song: “Nice guys finish last; you're running out of gas; your sympathy will get you left behind...” (And here I end my embarrassing ‘90’s music segue before it goes too far.) Recently, I read an article about a group of scientists who set out to prove this theory false. They were right. In an intricate experiment, they discovered that nice guys really do better than those who utilize cruelty or ruthlessness to get what they want. I don’t know about you, but that’s a comfort to me. Kindness prevails. As it should.

So what does this have to do with us? In April, on Jane Richardson’s Home Thoughts From A Broad, I blogged about the incredible kindness and support I’d found within the romance genre since joining Romance Writers of America and the Gulf Coast Romance Writers along with several other groups and publishers. I mentioned that romance writers, while we are not without our opinions, transgressions or clashes, seem to share a distinctive generosity of spirit.

Think about it. What other genre has a non-subsidy non-vanity publisher like The Wild Rose Press whose main goal is to grow writers? A huge part of TWRP’s website, The Garden Gate, is geared toward this objective. And let’s not forget RWA is one of the largest organizations of writers at over ten-thousand strong with branches of helpful networks : PAN (Published Authors Network), PRO (Pre-Published Network), and over a hundred regional and online chapters that make it easy for all writers—no matter who you are—to connect with others.

The connections I’ve made personally in this genre are precious to me and not in a business sense. Whether I need advice, encouragement, understanding, a shoulder or a kick, I know where to go. As isolating as the process of writing is, being able to speak and connect with others who understand this is a gift I hope I never take for granted.

With the storms in the Gulf and the anniversary of September 11th, I think this would be an appropriate week to discuss the kindnesses we’ve witnessed within the romance genre. Has someone done something outstanding for you? What about those little kindnesses that mean just as much? Come on, let’s hear about it!

Writers, sound off :)

*Thoughts and prayers go out those effected by Hurricane Ike. Stay safe, please…


Carol Ericson said...

Amber, you're right! RWA is such a supportive group. While I was signing at the Literacy Signing at the RWA Conference in S.F. last July, a woman came up to me to introduce herself (and buy my Intrigue). She was the coordinator of a contest in which my entry had finaled and then placed first. She just wanted to meet me and congratulate me again! I thought that was so sweet that she took the time to look me up.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Amber, I know what you mean about how great RWA is. When I attended my first WisRWA area Chapter meeting, I felt like I'd finally found home. It was great and I've enjoyed just about every bit of the last 4 years as a member. :) Better than the organization is the friends I've made.

I also pray for those dealing with the hurricane issues this year.

Allison Knight said...


After I'd published several books and been criticized for head hopping, I turned to another member of RWA. She read my latest WIP and explained POV. When all I could do was shake my head, she told me to write the same scene in first person. How right she was! I have almost no problem with Point of View and I no longer head hop!
She used her writing time to help another.

Jennifer Johnson said...

Hi Amber,
I've been overwhelmed at the generous spirit of many of my fellow authors. Like when I did a chat and couldn't get my book cover posted, a fellow author jumped right in and did it for me. Or the encouraging messages when I posted about my MIL's breast biopsy. Or the many times I have read emails congratulating this person or that person on new contracts, book releases, awesome covers, etc. It has been amazing the sisterhood which I've witnessed. I feel blessed to be a part of it.

Cynthia Eden said...

Hi, Amber! I agree, the romance community is wonderful. I have received so much support from other writers--people always willing to offer advice, share experiences--I love romance writers. :-)

Debra St. John said...

Amber, I can't say enough about my RWA chapter, Chicago-North. It is the most supportive, encouraging, and inspiring group of writers I know.

Sandy said...


Writers are the most unselfish, supportive people I've ever met in my life. This includes even those who do not belong to RWA. I could never have kept going without my local chapter, MARA, and RWA.

I owe a big thanks to GIAM2 for allowing us to shout good news and bad.


Wendi said...

Amber, I agree. As a group, romance writers are very generous. And as individuals, many like yourself, are even more so. I think it shows in the way we support one another's work by passing along or even opening up promotional opportunities to other writers. It's evident in the many blogs/webpages and workshops offered on the craft of writing. It's extremely evident in our loops and local and national writing groups where information is constantly being passed along. The romance community is a wonderful network and I'm proud to be part of it.

Great post!

Wendi Darlin

K.T. Bishop said...

I'm not even a full-fledged member yet and the Gulf Coast's Chapter of RWA, especially Amber and Cynthia Eden, both made me feel like I was already part of them. Can't wait to join them later this year.