Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Use What Is In Your Hands

“Oh, no,” I groaned this week as I tried to start my car. There was a clicking sound and finally the engine started. I was in a grocery store parking lot several miles from my office and out running a couple of errands. Instead of going home and getting stuck with a car which didn't start, I drove to my car repair place so they could check out my vehicle.

Normally when I go to the repair place, I bring some work but in this case I was caught up prepared. I had a single package from a publisher. Opening it, I found a new marriage book.

If you don't know my background, I've reviewed thousands of books and for several years I was the book review columnist at two publications which don't exist any longer. I read and reviewed many marriage books. I also acquired marriage books when I was an acquisitions editor. Yet over the last few years, I can't even recall a book I've read focused on marriage. Yet I was headed to the waiting room while my car was examined and the only thing in my hands was this new marriage book.

The book included a cover letter where I was asked to endorse the book and post a review on Amazon and other similar places. I began to read the book and loved the contents. The author, Poppy Smith attended a continuing workshop I taught several summers ago at the Oregon Christian Writers Summer Workshop. Those classes are structured to be small classes and I believe I had six people including Poppy) that summer.

I could have read the book and done nothing with it. Instead I wrote my review and sent the endorsement and posted the review on Amazon. I also review for a newer site called Lunch.com where I posted the same review. Lunch.com allows you to add links as well as select photos for the review. I selected the cover and Poppy Smith's photo. Then I took one more quick action: I tweeted about my review to my twitter followers which also goes to my Facebook friends and my connections on LinkedIn. Finally I wrote Poppy and told her about my review.

Admittedly it took some proactive effort on my part for these various steps to happen. I am committed to using what is in my hands.

What do you have in your hands? How can you use it in your writing life? I love what Napoleon Hill said, “What the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”

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