Wednesday, July 02, 2008

50 Ways to Give... to Other Writers, Too

by Hannah Roveto

I needed to track down a writer last week for my public relations work. She'd written a story for a regional magazine and her area of interest clearly overlapped with my client's offerings. I went online to try to track her down and found, among other things, this: 50 Ways to Give Right Now, written by Deblina Chakraborty.

The list will follow, but I loved how so many of these work on multiple levels. Not just in the wide world, in our larger lives, but as writers and creative people supporting each other. A few of my favorites:

Applaud a great performance: Amy, Lynne and I did this literally on Monday night when we gave Lisa her feedback. Wow, was it fabulous and we were so excited for her that we broke into spontaneous applause. And then three of us again for Tethered, and again for news that Lynne had, and then they for me for delivering gray cardboard boxes filled with 264 pages of either a stunning novel or complete insanity. (Or something somewhere in between, hopefully more toward the first...!)

Confront a friend who needs confronting: This, too, we do in writers' group and it is the reason we are so close. We are honest and kind, which it is possible to do in the same breath, and we now actually seek the truth from each other. Would that everyone had this in our real lives as well -- a friend who would deliver honesty and kindness when something needed to be said.

Forgive yourself. For a bad page, a day without writing, whatever. Get back up and do it right the next time. Forgive and move on.

Give your full attention. To every detail: plot, character, voice, setting, word choice, structure. Every little bit of what you write and what you read.


I love this list. I love that it centers me when I feel like my life is spreading out beyond its borders faster than I can run around and push it back into place. By focusing on what's most important and pushing the good karma out there has it will come back a hundred-fold. And can't we writers use a little good karma now and then?

50 Ways to Give Right Now

1. Applaud a great performance.
2. Become a Big Brother or Big Sister.
3. Buy a meal for someone who’s hungry.
4. Call a friend you haven’t heard from in a while.
5. Confront a friend who needs confronting.
6. Donate blood.
7. Elect to be an organ donor.
8. Extend a warm welcome to a newcomer.
9. Forgive yourself.
10. Give a compliment.
11. Give directions to someone who’s lost.
12. Give up your seat.
13. Give your full attention.
14. Help a fellow traveler with her luggage.
15. Help a younger person discover a hidden talent.
16. Hold the door.
17. Invite someone who’s not a part of your inner circle to a friendly gathering.
18. Kick bad habits, like smoking, that can harm others.
19. Laugh.
20. Lead by example.
21. Leave a big tip when you eat out.
22. Let go of an old grudge.
23. Let your spouse sleep late.
24. Look cashiers in the eye. Thank the bank teller.
25. Make a donation, however small, to your favorite charity.
26. Mentor a colleague who’s new to your field.
27. Next time you’re ready to honk at another car, don’t.
28. Offer a ride to somebody without a car.
29. Participate in a race that benefits a charity.
30. Pass on good news.
31. Pay the toll for the person behind you.
32. Plant a tree.
33. Praise someone who’s done well.
34. Put yourself in another person’s shoes.
35. Raise money for a cause you believe in.
36. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
37. Rescue an animal from a shelter.
38. Say a prayer for someone who’s hurting.
39. Send a thank-you card to someone who’s shown you kindness.
40. Smile at a stranger.
41. Spearhead a petition.
42. Spend time with an elderly person.
43. Stay calm during a stressful time.
44. Surprise someone.
45. Teach your children about giving.
46. Tell a joke.
47. Tell your mom you love her.
48. Throw a party for someone celebrating a milestone.
49. When you see trash, pick it up.
50. Write a letter to a person who’s made a difference in your life.

~ Deblina Chakraborty

Source: body+soul, September 2007


Anonymous said...

Hi Hannah,
Thanks to The Writers' Group for extending #8, 13, 20 and 26 my way. Good karma is always welcome, and I'm sure it will come back to you in many ways. Great list!


Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Hannah, what a wonderful list. Thanks os much for sharing it with us--I'm off to print a copy now.

Lisa said...

This is a great list -- if you don't mind, I'd like to post it at my place (with a link back to this post of course). There's nothing that makes a person's day more than being able to do something nice for someone else. :)

Lynne Griffin and Amy MacKinnon said...

I love the simplicity of her ideas, how it really is possible to give in small ways at the moment -- to live more in the moment, too.


Larramie said...

Exactly, Hannah, it's always the little things that mean the most.

And I give you all a standing ovation.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding me of so many little things we can do; and they don't even cost us anything.

Kellybelly said...

Perfect timing for me! Thank you very much Hannah. :)

Rick van der Pluijm said...

Hi Hannah,

Thank you for sharing the list by Deblina Chakraborty and for adding your personal stories to it. I made a list myself at which I hope you like as well.

Kind regards,

Rick van der Pluijm