Celebrating the WLC – Maria Snell talks Uniting a Community

Guest post from author Maria Snell 

‘The Whirlwind’ of the WLC
Why I joined the WLC
The most influential mentor in my life, the man that shaped my professional career many years ago and that to this day I call my friend always said:  ?Always give more than you receive, that way the well will never run dry?.   He is a man that has been to hell and lived to tell about it, an incredibly successful captain of industry that started from nothing, built an empire and made sure to share the wealth ? not only with money, but by sharing what he learned along the way and making sure others had a chance to make it as well.  But his motto was always that:  give back, whatever you do and in whichever capacity you can do it, always give back.  Pay it forward if you can, or give back if you can?t pay it forward. 
Fast forward several years and I entered the blogging world; more specifically ? the book reviewer blogging world, but I don?t think that the specifics matter.  What matters is what I found:  competition, everyone for him or herself, back stabbing, greed, misguided sense of self-worth.  Not in every blogger, but in an outstanding majority of bloggers. 
When you start in any endeavor, you start small and hope to grow the endeavor to something that will make a difference ? whether in the world, in your community, in your business career, in your family, in your life? There are a lot of variables that can be deciding factors on whether you make it or break it; when you add to those variables the open war of other bloggers that do not want you to grow, the odds stack against you.  And why would someone not want someone else to succeed?  I don?t really know, I am not trying to answer that question.  What I do know is this:  as soon as I made a small advance and got some followers, I made sure to bring along for the ride other bloggers that were even smaller than me to try to give them a chance to grow a little bit more themselves.  Some I still call my dear ?bloggy? friends and we have continued to grow together, others have gone their own way after a while.  The most appalling thing to me was how the other ?bigger? bloggers would try to trample our efforts.  And even more puzzling was how some of the same authors I was reviewing and trying to promote would completely ignore my efforts ? they were ?Authors? and I was ?just? a reviewer.
And then I met Melissa Foster, bestselling author of Megan?sWay, Chasing Amanda and Come Back to Me.  And one of the nicest, most generous souls you will ever meet in your life.  Melissa, like me, believes that there is plenty of room for everybody to succeed, that cross-promotion of authors and bloggers benefits everyone, that paying it forward and giving back is a way of life, that sharing the wealth (of information, of access, of experience, of resources) makes sense, that cooperation is key because there is strength in numbers.   I reviewed all of Melissa?s books and I received encouragement, recognition and gratitude from her ? and let?s make it very clear: she is in her own right a very successful author that does not need me or my reviews at all.   We connected, and she invited me to join the WoMen?s Literary Caf? group of volunteers; and I jumped at the opportunity.
The WoMen?s Literary Caf? was founded by Melissa to bridge the gap between authors, bloggers and reviewers with the intent of promoting great literature.  It helps authors, bloggers and reviewers to connect with each other, build relationships, cross-promote and grow together.  There is not a ?they vs. us? mentality:  all of us (authors, bloggers and reviewers) are in this together and together we are a force to be reckoned with.  As a volunteer I interact with authors, other bloggers and reviewers every day.  My connections and my network have expanded beyond my wildest dreams, my work is acknowledged and recognized.  The programs created by the WLC for everyone are varied and far reaching:  from Author Toolbox to Book Launches to Review Teams to social media cross-following and promoting to Read and Review events to Author-Blogger Connection to Forums to? you get the idea.  The WLC provides a community where authors, bloggers and reviewers can work together and collaborate and grow together ? with respect, encouragement, ethical focus and gratitude.
And that is why I joined WLC.  I found a place to call home, where I can work for the good of the community, where collaboration and cooperation is a way of life, where ethics matter, where everyone gives back or pays it forward so ?the well never runs dry?,  where authors, reviewers and bloggers have a voice, where they find the support they need to be able to succeed, and where results are achieved.  Join us!
 Blogger Maria Snell
Maria ~ I have given you a new nickname, ‘The Whirlwind’.  You might ask why, well it’s because as I was trying to figure out your exact title, I found that you have your hand in just about everything and you spin from place to place faster then most of us can imagine!  Your assistance and your friendship have been so wonderful!!!  Thank you so much for all that you do for the WLC! Keep Spinning Lady!  ~ Stacy
To learn more about WoMen?s Literary Caf? 
(hosting both men and women), please visit: