Thursday, April 9, 2015

H is for Help

Help is available. It is available from your friends and family (be discerning about when you need it and exactly what you need). It is available from most governments in the form of grants, workshops, artists in residence, conferences and so on. It is available online - both in the form of encouragement (IWSG anyone?) and in the form of ready information. We have a fabulous online community of people who will go to extraordinary measures to help writers in need. Help is available in book form - there are many books on self-editing and revising and many more chapters on revising in larger tomes on writing. You need only ask.
Sometimes that is hard for us creative types but when it comes to revising we need extra eyes, we need counsel, we need cool-hand Luke to weigh in.  Asking is imperative. Developing a thick skin is imperative. "I would like you to look at my manuscript and tell me where the holes are." might be the ask. Sitting and listening to the opinions of others on your work is where the thicker skin comes in. Sometimes we'll get a no - 'no, I don't do that' - I've heard from many published writers and I get it. They are besieged with newbies begging for their eyes and if they say yes to one, an avalanche of requests could bury them.

Today's photo is of a camel in Nova Scotia begging me for a grainy biscuit.

When do you ask for help and where do you find it?

5 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

I'm so glad you mentioned this topic, Jan. Writing is solitary in the sense that each author does the work of creating and writing down the story. But we need each other. That's one reason there are so many of us on the planet! I've found that people won't know you'd like help unless you ask. And when you do, most are delighted to be there for you.

Hart Johnson said...

It's hard to ask, isn't it? I can ask people with whom I can TRADE (feedback, etc) but I have a hell of a time asking when I get to the marketing end of it--people who might help me get my work out there.

Christine Rains said...

For so long, I was stubborn and wouldn't ask for help. Yet now I have wonderful critique partners, writer's groups, and an awesome online community. I adore them and I'm never afraid to ask for help.

Good luck with the Challenge! Visiting from Untethered Realms

Susan Scott said...

Asking is the hardest thing ...I honestly don't know who I could ask among my family and friends. The idea of impartial constructive writing groups must be the best one. Or being like a camel asking for a biscuit. That's the best one ..

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I've got a few go to books I use for help, certain ones for specific issues. This way I can go after what I need when I need it and not have to rely on people who might be too busy to help me out.