True generosity is an offering; given freely and out of pure love. No strings attached. No expectations. Time and love are the most valuable possession you can share.

― Suze Orman

Today I want to bring attention to a particular group of writers who impress me with their willingness and ability to give back to the group that nurtures them. I have been a member of RWA for more than nine years. “Romance Writers of America is dedicated to advancing the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy.”  The statement taken directly from the home page as their mission statement. This hasn’t always been true with individual chapters. Sometimes, once they become successful, the published authors lose patience with aspiring authors and do not like to share space, much less expertise.

Every chapter is different, and I’m the first one to celebrate differences. Gone are the days when I have to worry about who will be offended when the “experts” don’t want to be bothered with the “newbies”.

The women who lead and nurture my group of local aspiring authors are the most generous and hardworking women I have ever met. Don’t get me wrong, I have had several mentors who helped me along the way and I’ve mentioned them here, singing their praises and touting their generosity of spirit.

I was blessed the day I found Sunshine State Romance Authors.

This is the first time I have ever encountered a group so totally dedicated to helping others, both individually and as a group, on such a consistent basis. Every time they are asked to help, they step forward to offer advice, expertise and assistance; whatever is in their power to help is there for the taking.

How refreshing to find no disdain for the “unpublished” author.

How inspiring to know you will be assisted rather than ridiculed for what you don’t know.

How comforting to know that no question is considered foolish.

How empowering to know the help you need is there for the asking.

How successful these men and women are because they pay it back and pay it forward on an ongoing basis. They do embody the mission of RWA. Sadly, not every chapter can make this claim. Now I’m sure there are other chapters who believe they do this, but are you really sure? Examine your next chapter meeting and make sure you welcome new friends, assist the aspiring author when you can and share the knowledge you’ve acquired over your career.

Real writers spend a lifetime working on their craft, and know there is always something new to learn.

Truly successful people have the generosity of spirit to share with others and nurture those who seek their assistance, without judgement.