Keep an Open Hand
After years of attending writers conferences, I was shocked to have an editor of a large publishing house ask to meet with me. She had my manuscript in hand and had offered up some editorial suggestions to make the manuscript stronger. Before I agreed to take a look, I felt it my duty to divulge the fact that I was likely going to be going with another publishing house.
She blinked at me a few times, then got to work explaining why she thought the changes she suggested would make the book better. At the end of the conversation, I told her that the other publisher was interested in buying the book on a partial, something she wasn’t willing to do. She then went on to say, “Gina, it doesn’t matter if we’re the ones who publish you, we just want to see you published. You’ve done so much for other writers over the years that we’re all rooting for your success.”
That’s the law of reciprocity at work, or as we prefer to call it, the open hand theory.
"One of the most potent of the weapons of influence around us is the rule for reciprocation. The rule says that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us." Robert B. Cialdini, author of The Psychology of Persuasion (William Morrow, 2006)
You can read books like How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie), The above mentioned, Psychology of Persuasion, The Tap (Frank McKinney), and others, but I think it comes down to a pretty simple concept: By keeping an open hand, you’re allowing blessings to flow in, and out.
We’ve all read the story of the monkey trap. Folklore suggests that if you put a tasty treat inside a container with a hole just big enough for the monkey to slide its hand into, but not big enough for it to get it out once his fist is clenched, the monkey will allow itself to be killed or captured before he will let go of the treat. We writers can be a lot like monkeys.
So often we have ideas, talents or resources that would benefit others, but our natural inclination seems to be hiding these away for ourselves. Great phrases, marketing ideas, you name it. Our selfish self whispers, “Don’t share that, it’s valuable information. Do you want everyone doing it? It will lose its originality, it’s value.”
Christians, Jews and other faiths adhere to the principle of tithing. The Bible says in Malachi 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!” New Living Translation
When you don’t tighten your fist around the prize, you leave it open for others to take, and for others to give. If you want to be a successful author, heck, a successful anything, you’re going to need some help from others. In return, you’re going to need to help others.
Now available for pre-order.
Now available for pre-order.
On the cusp of adulthood, eighteen-year-old Penny Carson is swept off her feet by a handsome farmhand with a confident swagger. Though Trent Taylor seems like Prince Charming and offers an escape from her one-stop-sign town, Penny’s happily-ever-after lasts no longer than their breakneck courtship. Before the ink even dries on their marriage certificate, he hits her for the first time. It isn’t the last, yet the bruises that can’t be seen are the most painful of all.When Trent is injured in a welding accident and his paycheck stops, he has no choice but to finally allow Penny to take a job cleaning houses. Here she meets two women from very different worlds who will teach her to live and laugh again, and lend her their backbones just long enough for her to find her own.