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.