I told someone today that I believe my calling is to encourage other writers and create opportunities for them. I’m not sure what that means—‘create opps’ for them, except, I search out markets, keep my ears open, look for good articles, blogs, websites, agents, and quotes that will help them reach and stretch in the right direction to grab some bylines and bucks.
When I was growing up, my mother bought Dial soap. In her mind (and experience) Dial was the only soap that got us clean. She used Tide—no other—and Purex. When it came to fruit drinks, Hawaiian Punch was it. And there was nothing better than Crisco.
She baked with Fleischmann's Margarine. Absolutely no compromises.
When I married, I chose my own brands. Well, actually, I still use Dial, but I prefer Cheer, don’t use Purex at all, prefer I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and my fruit juice consist of Crystal Light powder sprinkled in a bottle of Aquafina.
When I became president of the Bayou Writers Group, I wanted each and every member to work hard, enter contests for feedback and send their work out. You learn by doing, I tell them. You learn from rejections and critiques. Writers write, I say, as if I’m some great philosopher sharing wisdom. I also harp for them to read how-to books, stand at the magazine rack for hours like I do to know what’s there, study the periodicals, surf the net to learn what’s out there, write, write, write.
Recently I told Robert Swartwood that
many new writers want to be spoon-fed—they don’t want to teach themselves, work hard to learn and achieve their goals. I think I might have been wrong. I guess what I’m trying to say is… I’m becoming my mother.
Am I guilty of force-feeding?