Sometimes things just fall into your lap. Sometimes you have to struggle to make stuff work.
And sometimes the two combine to give you an opportunity to do something mad and exciting and all-but impossible, something that leaves you feeling exhilarated and alive and glad you did it.
It’s only been just over a fortnight since SF author Christie Yant asked who her Twitter followers recommended for proofreading, and I semi-flippantly answered “Well… me”.
But today, when the Resist anthology is exclusively released as part of the “Get the Vote Out” Humble Bundle and starts raising funds for the ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Union, it’ll in part be because I threw caution – and my fee – to the winds and agreed to proofread 350+ pages in PDF format in an insanely short period of time, even though I knew that I’d also be spending a week in the UK, including a full day at a conference, during that fortnight.
Because sometimes, when the time’s right, when the cause is good – in fact, even when the time is wrong, if the cause is a good one – you have to act.
In today’s world, you may think that your actions can’t possibly achieve anything. You may think “Oh, I can’t contribute. I can’t stop global warming or help prevent human rights abuses, or stop the Saudis killing journalists and getting away with it”.
And maybe your contribution can’t be very big. My contribution to this anthology is a small one. But I made it all the same, and it’s helped a bit, and I’m proud that I did it.*
This week I’m also launching a new website for my business (or will be if I can get it to behave). On it, I explain my philosophy in life, which sounds grand, but it’s quite simple:
“If we all helped other people and made their lives easier, the world would be a much better place for all of us”
It’s that simple. Just do that. If you do nothing else today, this week, this year, just do that. As well as complaining about the state of the world and sending cat gifs to your friends to cheer them up, do something small and positive to make the world a better place.
You can pick up three pieces of plastic every time you visit the beach, or a park.
You can invest in solar energy projects in Africa.
You can contribute to raising funds for an ocean-going plastic recycling factory.
You can do something local and important to you, like teaching elderly people a new language (good for keeping brains active – both theirs and yours), visiting people who live alone, or helping out in an animal sanctuary.
If you’re in the US, you can vote (if you haven’t been removed from the electoral list, that is). And you know which way to vote, don’t you?
And, of course, you can help raise funds for the ACLU.
Because the important thing is simply to resist.
*I’ve got to say too, that seeing emails whizzing into my inbox from people like Christie Yant, Hugh Howey and Gary Whitta has been a blast. I’ve also discovered a truly excellent book designer in the person of Matt Bright, who had the unenviable task of converting my proofreading notes into reality in the finished layout.