Getting it done – Together

Working together for affordable housing

October 15 is Blog Action Day, a day when bloggers worldwide are encouraged to write on the same theme. This year, the theme is “The Power of We.”  In fact, the very act of writing today is an example of the topic – thousands of bloggers all bringing their voices and reader attention to the good that happens when people work together.

As I reflected on the theme, it seemed to me that most of what I do benefits from a group effort.

In May, I took part in my first Habitat For Humanity build. In one day, a group of enthusiastic volunteers and a few staff gathered and helped move another family toward the goal of having their own home. In a few weeks, a once-empty lot held a brand new, move-in ready home. The family had worked hard, but they couldn’t achieve this dream on their own.

In Des Moines alone, dozens of families will move into homes they helped build, that they’ve been schooled in how to maintain, that they’ll pay for, because a lot of folks came together to help make it happen. Here’s more on my Habitat experience.

Another example. I published my first book in 2008. Yes, I wrote it, but it is conceivable I wouldn’t hold that book in my hands today without the support and encouragement of many others. Workshop leaders. My writing buddies. My mother and sisters. Two years ago, I converted that book to ebook format and uploaded it to Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Surely the ebook craze would carry my book along with it. Right?

You know what? Not so much.  Because I put it up and I didn’t do anything else. In the best months, a dozen ebooks sold. Most months far fewer.

Then, this spring, in anticipation of publishing another book, and recognizing that social media just probably was here to stay, I reached out to people who knew a whole lot more than I do about blogs and Facebook and Twitter. With the help of groups like World Literary Cafe and individuals like Rachelle Ayala, I learned about social media promotion. And what do you know? When I tapped into the networks of many indie authors helping each other, teaching, sharing, promoting, my life in ebook land took a very positive turn. Not a dozen in a month. Dozens in a day.

Whether I work in an office building, in my home office, or on a community project, for me, there always has been more power in a group of us working together than me thinking I can do it all on my own.

So there you go, The Power of We. If you’re into the Power of We, leave a comment with your most powerful “We” moment. If you’re a blogger, join the Blog Action Day initiative and spread the word about the Power of We.

Comments

  1. Wonderful post, Carol. Thank you for it.

  2. Hi Carol, thanks for mentioning WLC. We are so glad you are part of the group, and the power of “WE” has only just begun.

  3. I liked this one a lot. I have no technical talent whatsoever so it’s best I don’t work on any houses. lol

    As to the rest, I’m part of a non-profit as well, but truthfully I didn’t even think of it as advocacy or anything else when I joined. I was asked if I would participate, I thought it would be the nice thing to do, and I’ve been with them 10 years now. I figure that me contributing to the “we”.

    • Thanks, Mitch. Fortunately for many of us, the Habitat folks accept anyone with any skill level – pushing a pencil is as valuable as hefting a hammer! I think you make an important point – asking people to participate is the first, big step. You’re definitely contributing to the “we.” Thanks for all you do!

  4. Uplifting post. Thanks for showing us the power of “we” especially as regards your ebook. I can’t really say which has been my most powerful “we” day but what I can share is how working and sharing the life of the underprivileged/low wage earner in this country was indeed a privilege in many ways and a great “we” time in my life.

    • Carol Bodensteiner says:

      Thanks, Penelope. Isn’t it interesting that what some might see as a “bad” time was for you also a blessing. Attitude makes such a difference. Good for you!

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