Monday, June 22, 2009

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Many moons ago, I started a job as a receptionist. My orientation included a pep talk from one of the salespeople.

Mr. Marketing said something to this effect: "You're a very important person in this organization. When people call here, you're the first contact they have with us. How you treat them reflects on the company. Smile when you answer the phone, and give them your full attention."

Actually, he was giving the Golden Rule and didn't even know it. As we go to conferences, interact on blogs, in emails, critique groups, and writer loops, let's put our best foot forward. The uncertainty, doubts about our ability, nervousness about meeting editors and agents, and plain old fright affect all of us at one time or another. Sometimes the most successful writer needs a word of encouragement.

Make someone else's day, and someone will make yours. Has someone ever been especially gracious to you when you were feeling down? Care to share? :)

23 comments:

T. Anne said...

It always feels so good to have someone say something nice on my blog. I agree we need to spread the cheer. I love your blog because you are so sweet to encourage and pray for others you don't even know. Keep up the good work it is a true blessing!

T. Anne said...

It always feels so good to have someone say something nice on my blog. I agree we need to spread the cheer. I love your blog because you are so sweet to encourage and pray for others you don't even know. Keep up the good work it is a true blessing!

Jessica said...

I think that's happened to me many times. As a teen and young woman I was very quiet and there were many kind, outgoing people who made me feel comfortable with their smiles.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

Hope you enjoyed your vacation.

The first time I went to a Writers Conference, I didn't know a soul. People running the Conference introduced me around and made me feel at ease.

Life-long friendships can be made with a simple act of kindness.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi T. Anne -

Thank you for your kind words. I know how much it means when someone blesses me.

Have a wonderful day!

Blessings,
Susan :)

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

My blog friends are all encouragers, supporters and helpers! No one has said anything negative on their posts or comments.

What a great group of cheerleaders out there! A personal thanks to all of you!

Terri Tiffany said...

I love it when someone does do that. This week Gumbo writer said some nice things about me and really made my day as it was a particularily glum one at the time.
I think we all need to be aware of doing it for others. Everyone needs that lift all the time.

sherrinda said...

Our family motto is: Do what's right. Do your best. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Life can be so much better if we all strove to implement the Golden Rule, don't you think? A smile is easy to give! :)

quietspirit said...

Susan:
As I was going into the room set up for my dad's funeral recently, one of the older funeral directors greeted me by my first name. He was standing off to the side with another of their personnel. I had talked to him at different times when I was out there. I felt honored he took the time to say something to me.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Susan: When Sherrinda gave me my blog award, it filled my heart to overflowing. I never expected that.
I love it that small acts of kindness can make a huge difference in someone's day.
Thanks for being one of the people who make a positive impact in my life!
Love you, Jen

Karen Lange said...

Someone once told me that a kind act or comment may be the only "Jesus" someone experiences in a day. So if we can be an encouragement and witness even in a small way, what a blessing! Thanks to you, Susan for a timely reminder. You are a blessing and a true witness:)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

How true! There's a scripture that says unbelievers are going to know we're Christians by our love for one another. If we can't love our brother, how are we going to love them?

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

Sherrinda also gave me that award. It's wonderful when we can encourage each other and uphold one another in prayer.

I'm grateful to the Lord that our friendship has had a positive effect on both of us. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

It's great when people take an interest in you personally. Nothing is more disheartening than to be treated like a number.

I've lived in cities, and I've lived in small-town U.S.A. I definitely like the slower pace where time is made for simple courtesies.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

When we're hurting, it's comforting to know someone cares. I've experienced that myself. Something so small can mean so much in times of bereavement.

May the Lord continue to comfort you and your family.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Donna -

I agree wholeheartedly. My blogging friends help me stay the course in my writing and life.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sherrinda -

What a great way to teach your kids the Golden Rule! I'm sure the combination of the motto and your example have made a lasting impression.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jeannie Campbell said...

i've been so blessed with this writing community. esp. when my computer crashed and i thought i lost everything. i got all kinds of prayer and support.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jeannie -

Thanks for joining in the comments. Like you, I've been blessed with so much support, prayers, and encouragement.

The days of the solitary writer, pounding away at a typewriter in an attic, are gone forever. This online community has opened so many doors to both publication and friendship.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Sharon Ball said...

It's amazing what a kind word can accomplish. Even a smile can be encouraging. Sometimes I'm so nervous at conferences that I forget to encourage experienced writers that I admire.

You're so right, Susan, when you say that we all need encouragement. We're all human after all.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sharon -

It's so easy to get wrapped up in the business side of writing that we forget we're Christian writers. I don't think the tag, "Christian Writer," relates only to the type of material we produce, but also to how we relate to one another.

I'm so thankful for the wonderful, generous, praying Christian Writers I've met.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Kathryn Lang said...

Encouragement is one of the greatest gifts that we can give. Some of us come by it naturally but all of us can grow to a place of encouragement.

A smile, a nice gesture (like saving a seat or letting someone else go before you in a crowded line) can sometimes be more encouragement than you could possibly imagine!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathryn -

I can't count the number of times someone's nice comment has brightened a trying day. Our words have a huge effect - for good or bad. Let's make it good.

Blessings,
Susan :)