“Make Someone Happy” by Jimmy Durante?
Okay, I said it was old.
The point is, I love that song. Not necessarily for all the romantic stuff. I love the last bit of the song, the part where Jimmy reminds us that if we make someone happy, we’ll be happy, too. And I’ve found that’s pretty much the truth. Especially when it comes to writers.
The year may be quickly winding down but it’s not too late to make someone—make just one writer someone—happy in 2018:
You can’t beat the book review for the author on your list. Look over your Books Read and choose a couple to review. And don’t worry about writing a long, literary treatise on the book. A simple paragraph (or two) is enough to make your point and help an author. Throw up the review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, maybe even your blog if you have one.
SPREAD THE WORD
But maybe the book review just isn’t your thing; takes too much time, too much effort. Or (yikes!) you just didn’t like the book and you don’t want to give someone a lousy review. You can still make an author happy when you spread the word in just a few lines. Use Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to post the cover of the book with a brief, “Do you see what I see?” And if you did like it, add a nice recommendation, an “I LOVED this one! Your kid (or sister or dad or dog…whatever) will, too!” Oh! Another thing…it doesn’t have to be a book, either. Do you have a writer friend who has an essay out there? A short story? A poem? Post a link to it, or leave a nice comment at the site. It’s so easy to spread the word and make someone happy!
BE A SHOULDER
And don’t forget to make someone happy when that someone is going through a tough time in the business. Be a shoulder to cry on, a sympathetic ear, a friend in need. The thing is, we all go through tough times in our jobs, but when you’re a writer, you work mostly alone. It’s such a solitary career, this writing business. So when an agent drops you or a contract falls through, when an editor passes on a pitch (after requesting the article!) or when that 47th rejection pings in the Inbox and throwing in the writing towel seems like a very good idea, then be there. Sometimes a few words of encouragement or a nice long lunch just to listen is enough to make someone happy.
And you know what? It may be an old song, but it still sounds good to me. Make someone happy and you’ll be happy, too. (Happy New Year’s, y’all!)
~ Cathy C. Hall
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