Come in! Come in!

My own bad behavior recently reminded me how important it is to support each other in whatever we dream to do.

A friend on the van knows someone who is thinking about writing a book and so asked me for publishing advice. My internal reaction was, “Write the blankety-blank book and then worry about it.”

My external reaction might have been slightly more gracious, but it wasn’t exactly welcoming. I didn’t say, “Wow, that’s great. What a fabulous project to undertake. What does she want to write about?” I didn’t pour out a list of helpful resources.

Trying to get published is often discouraging. I recently read an article in Poets and Writers Magazine that said, without connections, a writer has a one in 11,111 chance of getting an offer of representation from a typical literary agent.

That means you can be in the top .0001% of writers and still not get signed by a particular agent. My math is not good enough to figure out the odds if you considered all agents, but certainly not good enough to make me dance a jig.

Which is all the more reason to be encouraging to others entering the game. Nobody enjoys being one in 11,111. It is better to be two and even better to be five or ten, exponentially better, in ways that defy mathematics.

I don’t know why we need the support of others who share similar experiences, but anyone who’s ever felt really lousy and then talked to a friend or family member and felt better knows it’s true. We are social beings, and I think it’s hard wired into us to thrive more completely in community.

So, henceforward, I will take as my motto Shel Silverstein’s poem “Invitation,” which begins, “If you are a dreamer, come in.”