How Small Acts of Heroism can Wipe Out Bullying – My Children’s Book

Today, I want to tell you about an extremely personal project I’m working on.  I’ve written a children’s book about one of the most heroic acts of courage I’ve ever witnessed, and how similar acts of heroism can wipe out bullying from our schools.

This story used to be a source of deep shame for me, but today, I’m proud to share it with you, because it gives me the opportunity to give credit to someone whose act of kindness changed my life for the better.

The hardest year of my life was when I was in fourth grade.  For months, I’d come home each day from school and curl into my mother’s lap, crying my eyes out.  And every morning, when I woke up, I dreaded the day to come, because I knew I had to go back, where each day I was bullied emotionally, and on a few occasions, physically.  It’s hard to describe what I went through, except to say that I felt completely alone, and every day felt worse than the day before.

When I look back on it now, the worst part was the shame I felt.  Like most bullied children, I felt deep shame about what I was going through because on some level I thought I deserved it.  Otherwise, why would it be happening to me?  And if it was wrong, why would everyone else go along with it?

I prayed every night that the bullying would stop.  I prayed that the children who were hurting me would find something else to occupy their time, so they would leave me in peace.  And I prayed that I could make some friends, so I wouldn’t feel so alone every day.

Thankfully, I’m here to say that God answered my prayers.  The Bible says that God works through ordinary people – and in my life, God worked through a popular girl in my class named Stella.  One day, when things looked particularly hopeless, Stella stood up for me.  She told everyone within earshot that I was her friend, and that the way I was being treated was wrong.

And then something miraculous happened.  The bullying stopped.  Completely.  No one picked on me again.  And kids who had ignored me before began to play with me at recess.  Life got a lot better for me after that day.

Even now, I am in awe of the courage it must have taken for her to speak out.  Most ten year olds are desperate to conform to their peers, and few will risk standing outside the crowd to do the right thing.

When someone in their class is bullied, the majority of kids don’t speak up, because they are afraid of being labeled a tattle-tale, or worse – becoming victims of bullies themselves.  And sadly, the result is that the child being bullied is ostracized, making a bad situation almost intolerable.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.

I want to share my story.  I want to share Stella’s amazing heroism – because her actions can be taken by anyone who is inspired to do the right thing.  If every kid being bullied at school had just one friend stand up for them, life for that kid would get better.

It’s hard to take a risk and do the right thing, but when we do, we have the power to make miracles happen.  Jesus said that anyone with faith the size of a mustard seed could move mountains.  Acts of kindness and justice that seem small can affect the whole world, and our kids need to know that they have the power to bring light into dark places.

That’s why I’ve written a children’s book about my experience that I’m crowd-funding with Inkshares.com.  Stella’s heroism needs to be shared with the world.  Please support the project if you can, and share it on your social networks!  You can find it here:

https://www.inkshares.com/projects/stella-the-brave

Thank you for your support!!!

4 Tips for Writers who Want to Start Blogging!

There are many advantages to keeping a blog if you are a professional writer.  Not only does writing a blog allow you to promote yourself and your work online, it also gives you an opportunity to directly communicate with your readers!  If you aspire to be a professional writer, you should start blogging today!

I’ve learned a lot in the past two years through creating and writing my parenting blog, newmommabeckers.com, and I’d love to share some of the most important pieces of advice I have with you!  Here are some blogging tips for you writers who are looking to promote yourself and your work online:

  1. Write often.  I’ve found that I get the most views on my blog when I post 5 times a week.  I can’t always find time to write daily, but I’ve found that posting more often gets me far more views than when I only post once in a while.
  2. Promote yourself on social media.  Create a Twitter account and a Facebook page, and use them to connect with other writers and publishers.  Success in writing is like any other profession – it’s dependent on building relationships, and social media is a great way to do it!
  3. Discover blogs by writers you admire, and comment on their posts.  You’ll find that this is a great way to connect with not only the writer of the blog, but with other comment writers too!
  4. When you design your blog, keep things simple.  Pick a design that speaks to you, and don’t go overboard with graphics, wild colors, or – heaven forbid – music.  Let your writing do the talking, and don’t make your blog design so loud that it distracts from what you have to say.

If you are looking for more resources for beginning a blog, here are some sites that I highly recommend:

http://www.problogger.net

http://www.michaelhyatt.com

What are some questions you have about blogging?

Figuring Out How to Get Published

It’s a cliché, but it’s true – you can’t give up on your dreams if you want to realize them!  My dream is to be a professional writer.  I’m working toward this goal now, and if you are a professional writer as well, you may be familiar with the steps I’m taking.

The first step to getting published is to write something you are incredibly proud of.

Check!

What’s the next step?  Well, I’m figuring it out as I go along.  I started by visiting my local Christian bookstore to find several major children’s publishers.  I then visited each of their web sites to learn their policies about taking unsolicited manuscripts.

Turns out, most don’t.  Many do, however, subscribe to a service online called “The Writer’s Edge” that screens unsolicited manuscripts and shares those they deem excellent to publishers for their consideration.  Writers pay a fee to be evaluated whether or not their manuscripts are accepted.  If they are rejected, the service gives them advice about how to revise their work.  It’s a risk, but it’s also a potential foot in the door to 75 major Christian publishing houses.  For a first-time writer like me, the risk is worth it.

So I applied.

And my manuscript was accepted!

Here’s my book’s synopsis on The Writer’s Edge.  I hope I get contacted – but I know that there may be more to do before I get the prize I’m working toward.  The Christian children’s publishing industry is incredibly competitive.  But I’m on my way!

Are you a writer?  What steps have you taken toward getting your work published?  Have you started the process yet?

Welcome!

My name is Rebecca Rider, and I am a children’s author!

Kids today struggle with complex issues, and what they need more than anything is the wisdom that the Bible gives us, as well as the knowledge that they aren’t alone.  My stories are geared toward young girls, and they are timely, heartfelt, and inspirational!

I’m currently on the lookout for a publisher or literary agent, so if you are interested in learning more about my work (or are interested in reading a manuscript), please don’t hesitate to contact me at rebecca.m.rider@gmail.com!