Don’t Give Us Anything Today
November 30, 2021 § 36 Comments
It’s Giving Tuesday! A hyped-up commercialized day of charity to balance out the hyped-up commercialized days of shopping! You’re probably getting exhortations from every nonprofit you’ve ever lent your email to, plus the charities who bought your email from them. It’s inbox hell.
Brevity does not want your money today.
Instead, consider the spirit of Giving Tuesday: if you have, give. But for your author friends and your literary community, the gift of your time and attention is far more valuable than a monetary donation. In that spirit, here’s Brevity’s wishlist of Mostly Free Acts of Literary Citizenship for Giving Tuesday:
Free, 10 minutes or less
- Google an author friend’s name or scroll their social media, and comment on their most recent blog post/article/essay. Let them know someone is reading.
- Pick a quote you like from your friend’s book or essay and post it on your social media. Tag them. If you know how to schedule Tweets, pick three friends and do one a week between now and Christmas.
- Phone your local library and request they order your friend’s book.
Free, 20 minutes or less
- Review your friend’s book on Amazon. If you have five more minutes, copy-paste the review to Goodreads.
- Write a note to an author/writer friend you admire, and tell them why.
- Whatever app, gadget, or process makes your writing life easier, write 50-100 words about why. Send it to Brevity [ brevitymag+blog (insert @ symbol) gmail.com and yes that’s a plus sign] with WRITING HACK in the subject line and we’ll do a round-up of writing-life hacks in the weeks to come.
Takes More Effort But More Rewarding:
- Write a review of a new, small-press book for your or someone else’s blog
- Contact your favorite literary podcast and say you’d like to see the author on it (with two reasons why they’d be great!)
- Offer to read a friend’s manuscript or exchange pages when you both need feedback
- Buy a friend’s book. If it doesn’t interest you, put it in someone else’s Christmas basket
- Subscribe to a literary magazine you’d like to be published in (win-win!)
- Take a chance on a new author—tell your local indie bookstore what you enjoy, and ask what they recommend (bonus points: relationship-building with the store that will one day be recommending your book!)
They’re small things. But they’re not insignificant. As humans, we minimize ourselves and our impact. Particularly in these times, our focus is so strongly on survival and protecting those closest to us, it’s difficult to take outward actions, to engage in a world that has become so actively hostile to our ideals. We tend to think, How much does my compliment matter? Does anyone care what I think?
And each time we take action to benefit a friend—or wish a stranger well—we take one tiny step towards our own happiness. In a challenging time, feeling our own power to do good, even in tiny doses, can reaffirm our faith in ourselves, in each other, and in our literary world.
Your writing matters.
Your opinion, your thoughts, and your inherent membership in our community matters.
Step forward with your words.
Allison K Williams is Brevity’s Social Media Editor and the author of Seven Drafts: Self-Edit Like a Pro from Blank Page to Book. Want writing news, events, and upcoming webinars? Join the A-List!
This post is going to stick with me for a long time, mainly because I’m printing it out to have near my desk until I internalize it all. I do some of these things, but not nearly enough, and thinking of them relative to the time needed makes them seem all the more doable. Thank you, Allison! And cheers for giving us this on “Giving Tuesday”!
I’m so glad, Sue – and you’re so welcome!
Reblogged this on THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON….
All of this. Maybe not all of this today, but at least two or three. Thank you! (And ‘Giving Tuesday” makes me crazy as well…as if I don’t know who I want to donate to…as if I don’t already donate to them…)
Right?!?! So glad you’re here!
Love all of these ideas, Allison! Will do and share.
I’m so glad!!
Thank you, dear Allison.
You’re so welcome, Jan ❤
Yes! Thank you for these refreshing and motivating can-do things!
Such an excellent round-up! Keeping these ideas close year-round.
Thank you, Allison and Brevity.
You’re so welcome – we’re glad to have you!
So simple. So affirming. So I’m going to go do a few of these. Thank you!
Thanks for the how-to’s and reminders (gentle kicks in the butt), to be a better literary citizen! Note to self: Where’s my Seven Drafts?!
Brilliant – and such a good reminder for the rest of the year – not to mention a good counterpoint to the multitude of buy-this-give-here emails I have deleted since before Thanksgiving…….
Perfect read to find early on this Giving Tuesday. Thanks for the gift.
You are so welcome!
Ah! What a relief! Thank you for all these excellent suggestions of ways to give. I’ll keep this post visible and take the time to follow the suggestions, not just today but into the holidays as more and more emails keep reminding me that I need to “buy” gifts before…
So glad to hear that! Thanks for being here!
Wow Allison, this is an amazing resource. Thank you for this generous gift!
Thank you for writing this about real giving on Giving Tuesday.
Great reminder about the importance of literary citizenship. Will tuck this away so I can pull it out from time to time. Wonderful list…
Thank you for this fantastic post, Allison. You’ve listed so many worthwhile “gifts” we can give to writers and readers throughout the year. Any of them would be uplifting and inspiring prompts on those days I struggle to get the pen going. I’ll be keeping your suggestions handy.
As always, Allison, you are right on the money – literally! Practical and inspiring as always. Thank you!
Just reblogged this on blynngoodwin.com. Your suggestions are wonderful. Thanks!
Thank you foe this – at least one email that didn’t feel like a clog In my inbox yesterday! I even included it in my December newsletter!
Reblogged this on Erica Goss and commented:
Here are some wonderful ideas for anyone who appreciates good writing. Thank you Allison!
This is absolutely wonderful! As I am learning how to “build a platform” before the publication of my first book in summer 2022, I clearly see one of the best ways to do that is to help my fellow authors build theirs. Thank you for the wonderful reminder.
Thank you for these ideas!
Loved the tips, Allison!
Let’s see…HOW MANY WAYS can I repost, insert, and otherwise spread this around?? I’ll so what I can – this is nearly a manifesto for 2022. Will be for me….!