Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wisdom on Wednesdays: Being Generous

In the acting world, I used to hear this phrase all the time: "He/she's such a generous actor."

And I'd think a lot about what that means.

It means not hogging the spotlight.

It means thinking about the scene first, and putting aside your ideas about how things should go to find what works.

It means saying "yes" to your colleagues' ideas, and giving them ideas that they can say "yes" to.

It means being a team player.

It's the same in writing:

There are lots of books in the sea; yours is just one of them. This is a good thing.

Sometimes, we have to kill our darlings to make the story work.

Sometimes, we have to let the characters take us where they want to go.

Sometimes, writers need to lean on each other. We ask for support when we need it, and we support others when they need it.

It's a happy coincidence that my friend Matthew is doing a critique of a picture book query today on his blog, and he asked me to go over there and see if I could lend a few ideas. Without even knowing it, he was giving me an opportunity to be generous. If any of you write picture books, I invite you to go over there and do the same.

And when you write today, write with generosity in your hearts and at your fingertips.


  1. Thanks so much Ishta! This is very well said, and I love the comparison.

    I used to work in the Theater, as a stagehand, so I know what you mean. And my mom was an actress and my dad a stage manager, so it's in my blood!

  2. Generosity has a way of coming back. So true.

  3. I subscribe to the philosophy of paying it forward, for sure. Great post!

  4. I agree with Elana. Great post. We definitely need to support each other as writers. And your critique on Matt's site was right on.

    And thanks for listing my contest. That was really supportive.

  5. Great post--and so true, in just about all aspects of life.

  6. Great post - and I agree. At the end of the day it's all about helping and supporting those around you.

  7. I am loving your blog these past few weeks...just always offering positivity. Makes my day. xx