About two years ago, a friend of mine in Utah contacted me about an upcoming writers conference known as LTUE (Known as Life, the Universe and Everything - a play on words from the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy world). It was going to be held very close to his house, and knowing I was trying to break into the writers business he offered to let me stay at his house if I could get the money together for admission and a flight out there.
His generosity did not stop there.
While I was out there, he picked me up late one night when I flew in, driving the 45 minutes or so to the airport to get me, and did the same when taking me to the airport for the return flight home. Then I stayed with him, his wife and two children throughout the week. His wife woke up each morning, made us breakfast, and packed us lunches. I had a great time, and up to this point in my life it is one of my fondest memories.
Not only that, but the writers conference truly changed my life. It was there that I first had the idea for my current book: Basilisk, and I spent nearly the entire time during the keynote speech busily writing notes in my journal outlining the story. It was there that I gained a lot of valuable insight into the writing process and made some important contacts. I was able to pitch a few stories to editors, learn how to improve my pitching technique, and more than all of that, spend an awesome week with a very important friend.
To say that my friend and his wife's generosity had an impact on my life would be an understatement. While there at the conference I got a taste of a life I desperately want, one where I am writing full time. There, for the first time in my life I began to truly believe that this dream could become a reality; albeit with a lot of hard work and dedication.
None of that would have happened without a chat from my friend one day, inviting me to come out to Utah, and enjoy the conference with him. None of it would have been possible without the offered rides to and from the airport, the packed lunches and prepared breakfasts, without the hide-a-bed couch upon which I could rest my head at night. Was it staying at the Ritz Carlton for a week? No.
It was much, much better.
In our lives, too often we are first and foremost concerned about ourselves, what we have, what we are getting, and what we can keep from the tax man. Sadly it doesn't occur to us most of the time, to use some of what we have to make a positive impact in the lives of those around us.
Whatever in my life I might accomplish in terms of my hopeful writing career, I will forever be indebted to the generosity of a friend and his wife who opened their doors, and their wallets, and gave freely to me. Should I someday become a best selling writer, or simply a guy who self publishes e-books for the fun of it, a portion of that success, no matter how great or small will be due in large part to their generosity.
With the Christmas season upon us, and the New Year beckoning, what can you do to be a positive impact on someone else? Is there anything you have that could be freely shared with someone else to make a positive impact on their lives?
You never know how that generosity might impact them, and what might come of what you offered.
PS: For more information on the conference (which I highly recommend) check out the following link: