I’m posting a rare lunch-hour blog to make a declaration. By the power granted to me by nobody-in-particular, I declare today, Friday, April 3, to be Say Something Nice Day. If you are a twittering sort of person, you may use the hash tag #peoplesucceed.
Recent online rants like #queryfail on Twitter and the #agentfail post at the BookEnds Literary blog made me kind of sad. I know publishing is a tough, frustrating business for everyone, and I know people occasionally need to vent. But I also know that some of those posts really hurt people’s feelings – writers and agents alike. And here’s the thing… We all fail sometimes.
A couple years ago, at a NE SCBWI Conference, I was in a workshop where the leader asked if anyone would be willing to read from a work in progress. I was trying really hard at the time to figure out picture book writing, and I stood up and shared the PB manuscript I was working on. It wasn’t ready. And it also wasn’t really much of a picture book, for a bunch of reasons I won’t get into here. I probably shouldn’t have shared it in front of all those people, but I didn’t know, and I wanted to learn, and I figured taking a deep breath and reading would be a way to do that. Maybe you were there too, and maybe you remember. Maybe you snickered when I read it, and if so, I appreciate your snickering quietly enough that I didn’t hear. The people who said things out loud weren’t mean at all. They said kind, constructive things, even though I was being one of those clueless writers, reading something that wasn’t ready. Looking back, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. I was honestly doing my best, trying to figure things out.
And I really think most people are doing just that. We all fail sometimes, but let’s remember to celebrate what people do right, too. I’ll start:
The band director at my school organized an amazing opportunity for our kids to hear the Air Force big band today. They were awesome. And the kids were a wonderful audience.
My husband did the grocery shopping while I was teaching on Tuesday and remembered all the stuff I forgot to put on the list. He is also awesome.
My agent made it a point to chat online with her clients last night (from an airplane, no less) answering all our questions about her meetings with editors in NY. She is one of the best communicators — agent or otherwise — I have ever met, and I appreciate that. She’s awesome too.
Who wants to join me in proclaiming this Say Something Nice Day?
Just leave a comment on this post saying something positive about someone you appreciate, OR say it on your own blog, OR tweet it with a #peoplesucceed hash tag.
*Editing to add my thanks and links to the folks participating on their own blogs! It is always lovely when you try to start a movement and someone actually joins in. Here are some like-minded bloggers, saying positive things today: