WHILE PERUSING FACEBOOK the other day, I came across a post from a high school classmate about the sudden death of her mentor, U. Roberto Romano, know by friends as Robin. He was a cinematographer who worked tirelessly for international labor rights, especially children’s rights. His loss will be felt by many, including my high school friend.
Reading about this man—whom I had never met and yet I find myself mourning his loss—coalesced a series of thoughts I’ve been having for a while about the interconnectivity of the human species.
Remember the theory of “six degrees of separation”—or for my generation, “six degrees of Kevin Bacon <g>”? As a refresher, the theory posits that everyone on earth is six or fewer acquaintance links apart. Interestingly (at least to me), I’m only four degrees from Kevin Bacon myself. My aunt Jaclyn O’Shaughnessy had several guest roles on Night Court with John Larroquette, who was in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock with James Doohan, who was in New York Skyride with Kevin Bacon. And I even got a Star Trek link in there. But I digress.
These six or fewer degrees of separation are evident at every turn if you stop to think about it. Especially in this Internet-connected world. The impact we can have on the lives of others is astounding. I see it here every day.
You see, WMG might be the Home of Great Fiction, but it’s also the home of writers’ inspiration. Notice I say writers’, not writing, although we can certainly inspire the latter, too. But through our in-person workshops and online workshops and lectures, we inspire writers to pursue their craft. We give them the tools to take their words and give them form, to take that form and make it a book, to get that book in front of an audience. We—especially veteran writers Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch—help these driven writers navigate the upstream swim toward writing success. It’s hard work (nothing worth having is this life tends to be easy), but we try to help guide the way. Not just during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), but all year long.
We do it for them, we do it for us, and we do it for you. Because everyone benefits when great books hit the stands.
And when it comes to inspiration, few compare to Dean Wesley Smith. Through his Writing in Public project, he takes writers and readers alike on a daily journey through the life of a writer. How he spends his day, how many words he writes, how he gets out of his own head when his subconscious tries to sabotage his writing—he puts it all out there for the world to read. And read it they do.
But he doesn’t just inspire through talking. He also inspires through doing. This week marks the publication of his second Smith’s Monthly. And tomorrow is the official publication date of Dean’s new poker thriller, Dead Money. I’ve told you about those projects before, but if you want to read about them again, click here.
Fiction or nonfiction, inspiration is everywhere. We all possess greatness within us. It only takes making a difference in one person’s life to leave footprints in the sand alongside the sea of humanity.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.