Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How Can An Old Jewish Tale Give Guidance In Todays Publishing World? Don't Worry I'll Tell Ya...

We as writers are essentially in a brother and sister hood of sorts. We all want the same goal publication success. However, on that journey we can handle ourselves two ways...we can be selfish and  self serving or we can have empathy and charity. We can impart our praise, patience, knowledge and time.

 An old Jewish legend tells of two brothers, Abram and Zimri, who owned a field and worked it together. They agreed to divide both the labor and the harvest equally. One night as the harvest came to a close, Zimri could not sleep, for it didn’t seem right that Abram, who had a wife and seven sons to feed, should receive only half of the harvest, while he, with only himself to support, had so much.
So Zimri dressed and quietly went into the field, where he took a third of his harvest and put it in his brother’s pile. He then returned to his bed, satisfied that he had done the right thing.
Meanwhile, Abram could not sleep either. He thought of his poor brother, Zimri, who was all alone and had no sons to help him with the work. It did not seem right that Zimri, who worked so hard by himself, should get only half of the harvest. Surely this was not pleasing to God. And so Abram quietly went to the fields, where he took a third of his harvest and placed it in the pile of his beloved brother.
The next morning, the brothers went to the field and were both astonished that the piles still looked to be the same size. That night both brothers slipped out of their houses to repeat their efforts of the previous night. But this time they discovered each other, and when they did, they wept and embraced. Neither could speak, for their hearts were overcome with love and gratitude. 8
This is the spirit of compassion: that we love others as ourselves, 9 seek their happiness, and do unto them as we hope they would do unto us. 10

Let us learn from the example of Zimri and Abram. As we gain success let us impart of our substance of time and experience to those authors that seek after it. I'm not saying that we should ignore deadlines and answer every scrap of email that comes through. Use your common sense and simply be willing. I have to say I would rather have just enough success and a network of friends and colleagues than a NYT bestseller and no one to share the joy with.


  1. What a beautiful and inspiring Blog to start my day with. Thank you for posting this Briana! Love you always!

  2. Aw, that is a beautiful story. Maybe I'm in a sappy mood today, but it brought tears to my eyes. I love the message, too. Thanks for such a sweet post to start my day with!

  3. Thank you ME.

    You aren't sappy Guinevere. You just sound genuine. It's a great story. I teared up when I read it the first time.