Or, the best things in life are free, but are only really worth it if you pay for them.
My husband and I were walking in Harvard Square last week, and we saw a table of books. The sign (above) (sorry the picture sucks!) explains that this "book store" has been around for 5 years. The prices are inside the books, and please deposit the right amount of money in the lock box. Such a cool indication of what this community is like.
Okay, so the books above aren't free. You must use the honor system to own one. Some of the best communities work off this system. Take the kidlit blogging community. Everyone is welcome to join in the conversations, and there is so much information to take away. But you get the most out of the community if you are genuine, and take the risk to put yourself out there. The more you give back to the community, the richer your experience. You could take the information for 'free', but then you wouldn't get much else.
Same with crit partners--you must pay it back, or pay it forward to have supportive, lasting relationships.
The Tour de Writing was based on the honor system, and when I pressed most people about their totals, I found that they had short changed themselves, or were honest to a fault.
Speaking of the Tour, thanks so much for the awesome participation--and congrats to the winners! If you want to sign up for an email reminder for next year, please check out the Tour de Writing page above.
I also would love to continue doing my Friday Feature interviews, but lack the time to dedicate to the process. Since I want to focus more time writing, I created a page for people to sign up to be interviewed. There are no requirements--I would love to hear about your journey no matter where you are on your journey. Please feel free to fill out the form connected to the Friday Feature page above.
And, please feel free to pass the word on to others. It would help me immensely to not have to create lists and wonder if I already bugged a certain person about doing an interview for me. Here's a link to the interview page, or you can see it at the top of the blog. :) I apologize that I will do less reaching out to people, but I really need to write. And I really love the interviews.
Another Honor System project that was worth it's weight in gold? WriteOnCon. I hope everyone gave back in whatever way they could there, either by saying thanks to the gals that spent so much time and energy putting it on, or critting in the threads, or donating a little. I still can't believe the caliber of that "free" conference. I will be hanging out there soaking in all the things I missed over the next few weeks.
And, sometimes just joining in to the conversation is paying your dues. Check out Jon and Kris' thought provoking, "Where are The Gay Parents in Children's Literature?" blog series, continuing today.
What are your favorite ways to give back to this excellent on-line community? Do you think that most people honor the honor system?