Repayment or Pay It Forward

I’m a firm believer in karma (ie. whatever you put into this world, that is what you’ll take out of it).  Not only have I lived it, but I’ve seen others live it.  They’re the most mean, spiteful people I’ve ever met in my life.  They constantly  wonder why the world is out to get them.  These people usually have poor health, poor home-training, and can’t make a good decision to save their sorry lives.  If they do something good, it usually comes with hooks. 

Not that long ago, I was put in a position where I needed some one to count on and was too scared to ask.  Out of nowhere, my friend Stacey (I don’t think she reads my blog and if she does, I’ll find out tomorrow) stepped up to the plate and came to my rescue.  I didn’t expect it, so I can’t begin to tell you the impact it has made on my life.  In fact, she continues to stick by my side, as do some of my closest friends who can’t physically be here.  You know who you are.  😉  One way or another, I’ll figure out how to Stacey back because I can’t help not to.

Edie Ramer is one of my inspirations for wanting to pay it forward.  Not only is she one hell of a writer, but she’s the best when it comes to helping me dig out the conflict and motivation behind my characters.  I run to her with my crappy blurb in one hand and my hair pulled out in plugs in the other.  She helps me mold my blurbs and make them better, and I love her for it.  So, showing her some love on my blog is the least I can do. 

People feel used and abused all of the time.  It makes it hard to give to anyone when you’re down in the dumps and don’t feel like it’s being reciprocated.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like this.  But I chalk it up to a lesson learned and make it a point to avoid those particular people. 

I’m not NY published and I don’t have an agent.  Very few people know I’ve been agented in the past (we had parted ways for reasons beyond either of our control).  Whenever my friends ask me agenting questions, I have no problem with sharing my experience.  When my crit partner asks me for help that has nothing to do with writing, you bet I’m going to give it to her because she’s my friend, too. 

Whether you like to repay or just pay it forward, it’s the thought that counts.  I think we get too caught up with “what’s in it for me” that we don’t put our heart into what we do for someone else.  We don’t think about the impact that we made on some else’s life because we’re all about “my needs” and “my wants”.  We all have those, so it’s nothing new.  But I find when I give to someone when they least expect it, that smile on their face makes it all worthwhile.  😀

In what ways do you try to repay or pay it forward?  Even if it doesn’t work out or you don’t follow through, just the fact that you tried is enough.  Unless, you’re a cold-hearted bastard who has a “I got mine, so you gotta get yours” attitude.  In that case, don’t leave a comment.  We’re better off not knowing.  😉

And before I forget, there’s a reason why I have that picture of the Sixth Sense on my blog.  Edie made it to the next round of American Title V contest for her paranormal DEAD PEOPLE.  If you think I’m lying about her mad skills as a best blurber/summarizer around, check out her summary for DEAD PEOPLE.  Then, vote for her by sending an email to and putting DEAD PEOPLE in the subject line.


26 thoughts on “Repayment or Pay It Forward

  1. I loved your post Marcia.

    You know I’m new in this business and like you, I’ve been lucky to meet wonderful people who were willing to help me. I try to do the same. I offer my help whenever I think it can do some good. Right now, that amounts to a shoulder to lean on or an honest opinion when asked. Its all I have right now…but I’m always willing to share.

  2. Oh Abigail, honest opinions and sharing are priceless. I can’t tell you how many times sharing has made all the difference in my life or someone else’s. Sometimes, that’s the best gift to give when you think there’s nothing else. I’ve even found that when you don’t have the answer, but you have that shoulder, it’s enough. 🙂

  3. Marcia, your blog is making me tear up. You are an amazing friend. I’m so glad I know you. And your blurb wasn’t crappy! I just rearranged your words. Feng shui for queries. 😉

    I recently critiqued a first chapter and query for a newer writer in my chapter. And I did a personal favor for my cousin today. But other writers have helped me. And my cousin has always been there for friends and family. Now it’s my turn to be there for him.

  4. Hey Marcia, you couldn’t have picked a better example than Edie! 🙂 She’s a Twinkie Twin of mine, and there’s no one like her. On the paying it forward front, I’m loyal. Since I’m right in the trenches with everyone else, I don’t have a magic doorway to offer for publication, nor do I have many of the talents my writer firends have. But hey, I’m always available to lend an ear, and give a few laughs along the way.

  5. Paying it forward, to me, is something done unconsciously, which makes it an even bigger gift. For instance, when I’ve whined to you about something, it’s me whining about something and not asking for help, yet within a day I receive unsolicited advice, help or cyber-hug from you. That’s unconscious giving which puts you ahead in the game unconsciously. (THe game called “life”)

    P.S. Edie is the best “Feng-shui-er” I’ve ever met. 😉

  6. Edie, I meant every word of that. People shouldn’t just know you as a writer. They should know you as a person, too. That’s what makes you such a rock star in my book. 😉

    Heh! Feng shui for queries. I like that. But I don’t think feng shui gets passed around like that. It’s what makes paying it forward, out and about, and repaid all the more fun.

  7. LaDonna, isn’t it cool that we don’t have to have all of the answers, but can make it up in other ways that count? You’re sense of loyalty is the perfect example of that. So is your bubbly laughter. Heck, it’s infectious. 😀

  8. I hear you, Kath. She is a feng shui master.

    And don’t even think for a second that you’re whining to me. Whining is when you get on someone else’s nerves. I don’t feel that way when we’re having our heat to heart sessions. If anything, I’m honored that you think my ear/shoulder has any value. Not only that, but I love giving out cyber hugs, although the real thing is always a hundred times better. 😉 Not to mention, you give a dang good cyber hug back.

  9. Harry, you are so evil to tag me on a post like this. Absolutely evil. Don’t think for one second that I don’t see through your game, Mister. You are so going to regret it. 😛

  10. I am just wanting to show that I think about you even though I am so invisible for so long. I think it ties up with what the post is about. I have to say that I know what you are talking about. I am rarely stable, when it comes to emotions and life, but mind you if it wasn’t for my closest friend, my sould brother, I wouldn’t be here [literally]. Karma is definitely a powerful thing in life. I usually get super nervous, when somebody does me a favor, because I desperately need to return it, not because I want to set the score straight, but because I have branded upon myself the dogma that one good deed must be returned.

  11. Harry, there was a time when I was nervous about people doing me favors, too. Mostly because I always thought they’d hold it over my head or want something in return. It took a while for me to learn that people truly do things because they want to and they don’t expect anything in return. That’s what I call a true friend. Returning a good deed becomes a want as opposed to a need.

    And believe me, you’re not invisible. I see you, too. And in case I forget, that’s why I have your link up…as a constant reminder even when life gets busy. 😉

  12. How can I not comment on a post with a pic from one of my favorite movies, paying it forward and destiny? Brilliant post. I don’t consciously pay things forward but I truly believe that what effort and spirit you put into life, a project, whatever – is what you will receive in the end – success or failure. And all those selfless acts that never benefited you except for that good feeling you get from helping someone, come back somehow when you need it most and maybe that’s destiny.

  13. I’m trying to put together some info for other indie authors to help them navigate their options and choices and figure out their goals and motivations. And also an indie group blog to that effect.

    And one of my CP’s is FABULOUS. She spent 3 and a half hours yesterday interviewing my characters and helping me get out of a big slump. So of course I will return the favor to her.

  14. Thanks, Ryshia. 😀

    That’s the most ironic thing of all. Those things have always come back to us right on time and when I least expect them. I have no doubts that it’s because we put those seeds out there unknowingly and without expectations. Maybe it is destiny.

  15. I think what you’re doing it very admirable, Zoe. There’s never enough information out there about indie authors, unless it’s coming from someone who wants to make a buck from them in the process. What you’re doing will have a great impact on people whether you realize it or not, girlfriend. 😉

  16. Not like that invisible, silly. Invisible as in “too friggin’ lazy to move my fat fingers to type more comments on your blog or e-mails” lazy. Heaven’s forbid you forget me or I shall be forced to use a chainsaw to jumstart your memory. *evil laugh*

  17. Marcia, this subject has been so very on my mind lately. To make ends meet I work as a television extra, where I meet all sorts of people. Lately, the Universe has been placing aspiring writers in my path. Some have been playwrights (which I have some experience in and great resources to share on that front) and some novelists. When I say I have a book coming out, they get excited. I thank them for being excited with me and then I share the resources I used to get there. The Writers Market, Pub. Weekly, Agent, writing conferences, etc. I make a list of resources and put it on one of my cards. I mention that those resources are what got me fired up, and ready to go (as Obama would say). The people in these conversations with me pretty much across the board have said that it’s just what they needed to hear. I shrug and say that one of the things I’ve learned is that the Universe/God/goddess/Yahweh/Christ/Buddha/Allah/whatever you name her put me on this earth to be a cheerleader. I get a real high off of encouraging people. (Maybe that’s self serving, but it’s better than getting a high off of cutting people down). I won’t get further down my path if someone else doesn’t start or walk further on theirs. The business is rough enough as is, let alone any of us standing in anyone’s way. People have paid it forward to me, in many ways, and I hope people will continue to do so, and I can keep the cycle alive. Karma is REAL.

    Zoe: rock on, I just discovered this:

    Marcia my dove, BTW, I just nominated Unstable Environment over at PNR, and will encourage lots of votes! 🙂

    CONGRATULATIONS – so awesome, rooting for you!

  18. Damn. I’m sitting here at work reading this, Leanna, and I can feel the tears forming in my eyes. Thank God, nobody else is here to witness this. I’d never live it down, especially when I’m not supposed to be on the internet at work. Yeah. Right.

    The funny thing is when I first met you at RT in Pitts, there was this something about you that made you shine right off the bat. That was before you landed your contract. I strongly believe that people who radiate energy just in their personality alone have the gift to give it others even though they don’t realize it. That alone says a lot to giving unconsciously and without expecting anything back. With the discouragement, people need the encouragement, especially when it comes to realizing their dreams.

    I’m so very thankful I got to meet you and REALLY know the nice, wonderful, giving person that you are. Anyone who crossed your path is a lucky son of a gun. 😉

    And a HUGE thanks for the nomination!!! Holy s***! I usually steer clear of contests. When does the voting start, so I can get my pimpage into place? 😉

  19. Hey Marcia,

    Yeah that site was where I discovered this fabulous editing software I use. I use human eyeballs too, but humans catch things software doesn’t and software catches things humans don’t, so IMO it’s best to use both. Editing isn’t “just” copyediting of course, but that’s the thing readers most often catch first. When readers complain about a poorly edited book, they’re almost never talking about character motivation, but typos.

  20. Very true, Zoe. Readers are going to stumble over words long before they will characters…unless they get to a TSTL moment. We see that a LOT in movies. Too bad someone can’t invent software that handles things like plotting, characterization, and pacing. That’s where the real problems lie for me, as with many other writers.

  21. Marcia,

    Don’t you dare make me cry back. Sheesh. 🙂

    Well you should know about energy, girl, you could power a third-world country just off your bright and sunshiny vibes alone, just standing next to you is invigorating! I knew you were a fellow cheerleader from moment 1.

    Thanks very much for your kind and generous words.

    As for the Pearl Nominations, I’m not sure every nomination translates directly into voting, I thought it did but then they said something about the top five nominations. I don’t know, I’ve never done this before, so I’m not sure Dark Nest will be in or not. I hear voting begins sometime early Feb. I’ll be checking to see if Dark Nest made the nomination cut and I’ll drop you a line as soon as I see/hear anything.


  22. You sweetheart, you. 😆

    Well, I saw the PEARL noms and unfortunately, we didn’t make the cut. 😦 But the funny thing about it is, I’m still good and happily writing along. Contest smontest. Still, I can’t thank you enough for the nom. That alone made me feel like a winner. And I was more than happy to return the favor, too. 😀

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