The Power of Community

Connections

We live in a world where more can be accomplished if we work together than if we stand alone.  That is a lesson that I am slowly coming to learn, and that more of us need to learn. It doesn’t work, however, if we are working together for selfish reasons–if the goal is only about personal gain instead of benefiting self and others.

I know what I sound like politically, but I really do believe this. I believe that we can have both, individual success and mutual respect for one another. We do not have to step on one another’s backs as we crawl to the top.

At the same time, this world has become so much more complicated when it comes to building community. It’s harder to connect face to face–whether it is because of time, money, or the fact that we hide behind technology so often. It’s more difficult to know who is presenting themselves genuinely and honestly, and who is really only out for themselves.

In many ways P.O.W.ER is about this need for a supportive community, that bolsters each other’s talents rather than ripping them apart.

First Amazon Review

Trying to launch a book requires the help of a community, unless you are a big name with a big budget and a large following. A book won’t go anywhere without readers, and a book won’t be discovered by readers without reviews and support of others in the community. So I need the help of you, my readers. Read, review, and recommend the book to others. Now, of course this sounds selfish, but remember that I plan to donate a portion of whatever I make to causes that support women and children around the world. I want that donation to be a strong one, so that everyone has a chance to discover their own powers and abilities.

I also want to help strengthen my community, and make change through the power of that community. So I am taking advantage of  several fabulous gifts given to me over the past few days to spread the love and strengthen the community:

  • I was invited by Bannerwing Books to celebrate Small Press Tuesday. In the words of Mandy Dawson:

This year, we’d like to encourage you to buy small press. Since most small press authors lack the advertising budget of their traditionally published counterparts, we’d like to help you find some amazing authors. The links below will set you onto the path of adventure and poetry, mystery and romance, all under the guidance of authors who may be small, but their words are mighty.

Visit the link above to learn more about how we, as a community, can help each other and to discover some fabulous authors and words.

  • My friend Laurence King, an amazing woman and talented writer, featured an interview with me on her blog. She has been so supportive in helping P.O.W.ER make its way into the world. She is also the first writing friend I made as I ventured into the world of writer’s conferences and overcame my shyness to ask a stranger where to eat dinner. I can’t wait until her books make their way out into the world. I was honored to read a draft, and the world is in for a treat.
  • Several people have graced me with posts on their blogs, and I am forever grateful. Chris, the Story Reading Ape allowed me to write a guest post on a site that supports independent authors in a big way. Andra Watkins put a song in my heart and a tear in my eye with her lovely post. And my brother, Steve, who has incredible gifts to offer this world, humbled me with his words.
  • I received this message from a friend of mine and fellow dance mom, which encouraged me to believe what I’ve thought all along, this is a book that many generations can enjoy.

Amanda's Message

Liebster-Blog-Award-2-Post

However, being a rebel with a million things to do, who follows people who also have a million things to do, I am sort of breaking the rules a little. There are rules to accepting the Liebster Award and spreading the love:

1. Answer the questions sent to you

2. Nominate 11 bloggers

3. Ask them 11 questions thought up by YOU!

4. Notify them that they have been nominated

I am not officially nominating anyone, because I try to acknowledge the blogs I follow and the people I admire by responding to posts, linking to posts, and writing reviews or supporting their work. I suppose you could say I’ve nominated the  people I’ve already mentioned, but I won’t be asking them any questions unless they want me to ask some. I will, however, answer Sarah’s questions to me (succinctly as I know this post is already long. So here goes:

1) What was your first favorite blog? Probably Kathy’s Reinventing the Event Horizon, but I really don’t remember. I love and follow many but I have been a blogging slacker as of late.

2) How do you find time to write? I don’t find time to write. I write because I have to or am inspired, sometimes procrastinating and pushing other things to the side. Right now, for example, I should be grading the papers I collected before Thanksgiving. However, I find the more I have to do, the more I get done. If I allow myself to do tasks I enjoy it makes the other tasks more bearable.

3) When was the last time you spent a day totally unplanned? This Thanksgiving break was a joyous break. I didn’t get anything done, but it was much needed unplanned time.

4) What was the last great book you read? I don’t know, I’ve read many good ones but I reserve the word great for ones that blow me away. I reserve 5 stars for ones that I find truly amazing. Check out my list on GoodReads if you want to know what I like. 😉

5) Have you written a book? (plus it here!)

COVER

6) Who are your favorite bloggers/writers? I don’t choose favorites, because they change depending on my mood.  I don’t mean to be difficult, but I find picking favorites very challenging.

7) How many countries have you been to? Japan (lived there for three years), Thailand, Bali, Hong Kong, France, Slovakia, Norway, Canada

8) If you could learn any language which would it be? I would learn so many languages. I love language. My top choices now would be French, German, Japanese, Hebrew, Italian, and Russian.

9) What is one blog goal or challenge you want to accomplish for 2015? I would like my community of readers to talk with each other more. I don’t get many comments and I would like that to grow.

10) What is one strange or surprising fact about you that would surprise your readers? My life has never been a straight path, and I love that. Also, I sleep with three stuffed animals.

11) What did you know – or hear – about the Liebster Award before today? As I mentioned, I have been nominated in the past.

There you have it folks, a long post in order to spread the word about the power of community. We need to help and support each other. This means we need to read and review work honestly, spread the word about works we love, share each others accomplishments, and encourage each other during the hard times. We need to comment kindly and wisely. We need to practice communicating not just by writing words, but by reading to understand and grow.

Lecture over. Share the love.

Author: Lisa Kramer

Lisa A. Kramer is a lover of words, stories, and the power of all the arts to strengthen communities and bring understanding. Her first novel, P.O.W.ER was the finalist for the Sarton Literary Prize for Contemporary Fiction. Author of P.O.W.ER. She is also the author of non-fiction and short stories. She holds degrees in English and Theatre from Smith College" an MFA in directing from the University of Hawai'i, Manoa, and a Ph.D. in Theatre for Arizona State University. She is the co-founder of Heart Forward-a company that communities through the creation of innovative artistic projects—at home and abroad—that challenge ourselves, our audiences, and our collaborators to find strength in shared stories and to foster social change. Lisa is also a Creativity & Innovation coach and the co-Founder of Yes, And . . . Creativity Coaching.

10 thoughts on “The Power of Community”

  1. Lisa, community is what it’s all about and you have that!! You know you always have my support. I ordered my copy of P.O.W.E.R and cannot wait to start reading. Enjoy your weekend.

    1. Lisa Kramer says:

      You are so sweet and I’m glad you are part of my community. I hope you enjoy P.O.W.ER. Have a lovely weekend despite the noise of returned college students. 😉

  2. Oh, Lisa, I can’t wait to read your book and write a review. I am SO, SO grateful to be a part of the community we share. You are dear to Sara and me! And thank you so much for the shout out! You rock, dear Lisa! By the way, I, too, have been a blogging slacker recently.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    1. Lisa Kramer says:

      I am so excited and terrified to have people read and review my book. It is completely nerve-wracking.

      I am glad you are part of my community as well.

      <3 Lisa

  3. lisaspiral says:

    I will write a review – honest. I just have to “get around” to buying and reading the book! It’s definitely on my to-do list! I have a weekend coming without Orion so I’m hoping for some “me” time, and your book would fit right into that plan.

    1. Lisa Kramer says:

      Looking forward to it (and somewhat terrified but in a good way). Enjoy your “you” time.

  4. Seriously, people. Posting a review takes less than a minute, and it helps convince others to read. Mentioning a book to others also takes less than a minute. “Hey, I read this book, and I think you’d really like it.” With technology, various connections could have the book downloaded before lunch/coffee/dinner/workout/whatever is over.

    1. Lisa Kramer says:

      It amazes me how many writers are afraid of writing reviews. Maybe it is the fear of hurting people’s feelings, but we can learn something from honest and constructively critical reviews.

  5. Cameron says:

    Sometimes, I feel like our mission at Bannerwing, fostering indie talent while bolstering the small press community, and trying to keep the whole thing running (ie: making money), is crazypants. Thanks for reaffirming our insanity. We love our indie/small press colleagues and wish success too all of them. There’s room for a lot of friends in our sandbox!

    1. Lisa Kramer says:

      I love your form of crazypants, Cameron. I think that’s why we hit it off so well. I’m hoping to recruit your help at some point. I’ve got plans my friend. (But even if you don’t want to help, it might be time for a meetup again soon.)

I love words, so I'd love to hear yours! Talk with me.

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