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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Make Somebody's Day

These days--these days of wearing masks and trying to keep apart from each other and not living "normal" lives and living with a constant undercurrent of fear of a microscopic enemy--we all need help. A boost. A reason to smile.

This post began a while ago when I went to the bank. The drive-thru, since nobody gets IN the bank building these days...

(which makes me think of what a terrible time this is for bank robbers. I mean, they've been out of work for months. They're probably depressed, watching Jerry Springer instead of holding up bank tellers, because I imagine it's difficult to make an appointment to get into the bank... and then rob it.)

... Back to the bank drive-thru.

As I waited for the magical cylinder to drop down the chute, I glanced over at the person to the right of me. In fact, I glanced over several times. 

Apparently the teller said something humorous, because the woman in the car next to me laughed, and then smiled more than once during the conversation.

I thought, She has a great smile. Not a runway model smile. A genuine, quirky, dimpled smile. So that she didn't think I was a creeper or a Karen, I rolled the passenger window down and complimented her on her smile.

She smiled again and said, "You just made my day!"

Really? Is it really that easy to bring some joy into someone's life? And then I thought about it. Little things can have a big impact. And then I thought even more... on the things writer friends have done for me lately.

                                                                   image by Pixabay

Here are some ways you can make someone's day:

1. Offer to interview a writing friend--Linda O'Connell was so generous to interview me on her blog. Her questions made me think, and my book got some extra exposure.

2. Write a reveiw on Amazon or Barnes and Noble--I check occasionally nineteen times a day to see if there are any new reviews on my book. 

3. Volunteer to do a dental read-through. A dental critique is when the reader takes tiny picks and mirrors to look at the grammar, punctuation, potential tense problems and everything else.

4. Catch the sparkly gems in a writer's work--There are a couple of details in my brand new novel that only a few people will get. One friend sent her favorite lines from my book to her 700 followers. It makes all the time spent writing worthwhile.

5. Voluteer to be a beta reader--Writers need some feedback before a manuscript is sent out to agents and publishers. 

How about you? What have you done for a writing friend or what has been done for you? A grateful mind wants to know.

Sioux Roslawski is a middle-school teacher and a freelance writer. Her book, Greenwood Gone: Henry's Story, just debuted almost two weeks ago.


  1. Never heard of a dental review or critique or whatever but I'm not sure I have the patience for THAT. :-) But I often beta read--reading a friend's YA right now and I love that because it's more about the big picture.

    Also, friend, I have your book, am about halfway through--goodneess, it's getting tense!--but I'm taking a beach break so it may be a bit before the review. And I loved Linda's interview...interesting stuff!

  2. Dental? Nope. I'm a big picture reader. What makes me laugh? What makes me step back because it came as such a surprise? How does the story flow?

    What can writers do for each other? Often, I'm trying something new in a story. Either I've never written science fiction before or I've changed the POV but something will be new. It really helps me to know not only what doesn't work but what does. Also if someone would read on.

    I definitely need to know what doesn't work, but I need to know what to build on as well.


  3. Cathy--I don't even like the beach, and your break sounds delightful. Enjoy.

    I borrowed the dental term from Natalie Goldberg. She said there is a "down draft" (get it down on paper), an "updraft" (fix it up) and a "dental draft" where you carefully examine eadh small part.

    Thanks.I hope you enjoy the second half. Have fun at the beach.

    Sue--I agree. We have to know what we should keep on doing, along with what we need to delete or fix.

  4. You taught me something new--dental draft. Well, let's see. Recently, I reviewed a book for a writing friend and then offered it to my community as a contest for more exposure. And I give away books all the time after I read them hoping that the one free book will get others interested in the author and buy or check out from the library more of that authors' books. I also try to write reviews. I know from this side how important they are. :) That's exciting about sending the quotes to 700 followers.

  5. Great ideas to support other writers. Some I had never thought of. Like dental draft. I was thinking it was reading a chapter aloud for someone sitting in the dentist chair. A nice soothing voice might lesson the anxiety of the drill churning through enamel. But now I know better.

  6. Sioux, a compliment will always make someone's day, and in this world, especially of lately we need a hefty amount of joy, so I'm glad you are spreading it around. These are also great tips on how to make a writer's day.

  7. Margo--I give away books, too. There are a couple I'm always looking for in thrift stores... They're books I love, and I just want to share the love.

    Theresa--I chuckled over someone reading aloud to soothe someone at the dentist. It would have to be a phenomenal voice to make most people loosen up while in the dentist's chair.

    Jeanine--You reminded me that I shouldn't be surprised when it comes to the power of compliments. And these days, we need more than a hefty amount of joy--we need a whole mountain range of it.


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