I’m not sure that I actually believe in Karma, but recent events are helping to make me think maybe there is something to the concept.
A few months ago, I began mentoring a writer friend who had some pretty serious writer’s block going on. I kind of specialize in writer’s block ever since I had a severe bout of it myself many years ago. I’ve studied it, researched it, developed theories and practices for myself, but this is the first time I’ve worked intensively one-on-one with someone who is going through the agony of being blocked. I feel his pain – literally and figuratively. But he is making the most amazing progress, and every day he tells me about the joy he is starting to experience again.
My husband was a bit dismayed that I would not only agree to deal with writer’s block, but that I would do so for free.
“Your time is worth something,” he likes to tell me. And it’s true – but I also think there is a lot to be said for generosity and kindness. My friend really couldn’t afford to pay me, no matter what I charged. And I think about all the wonderful writers who helped me for free, and there is no part of me that is comfortable with charging a friend for my time.
But good Karma has its own rewards. Surprising ones, too.
Last weekend (Sunday, to be exact), the woman with whom I coauthored my first book gave me a call. She is the majority rights owner of our book. Now – I have to be brutally honest about this: I don’t like the book. I never have. It’s entitled “Love & Loathing: Protecting Your Mental Health and Legal Rights When Your Partner Has Borderline Personality Disorder” – yikes. However, I do like my quarterly royalty check. I do like that this book gave me an opportunity to really write and be published. And now, I like the offer that my coauthor has made: she wants to revise the book and publish it as an e-book, but New Harbinger Press is interested in the print rights. She has asked me to write the proposal and the outline by the end of July. She is offering me a new advance and a higher royalty than I’ve had.
Yes – I believe in good Karma. This dropped into my lap, and I am excited to make this a better book, and one of which I am proud. I am excited to use it as a tool for working with my friend. I am excited to be generating more income from my writing than I have in a while. Do I really think this is a payoff for my kindness? Probably not, but then again . . .