H is for Help!

I serve in a support capacity in my day job, so I’m used to people asking me for help all of the time. But I’m not so good at asking for help, myself. What can I say? I’m an introvert. But when it comes to honing my craft as a writer, I need all the help I can Imageget!

Part of this adventure has been learning about where I can go to find the best writing advice and inspiration. The trouble with self-guided web searches is, with so many writers, bloggers, businesses, etc claiming to have all of the right answers, answers that vary from one source to the next, how’s a gal to know where to begin and who to trust? 

This is where I’m learning that challenging my reluctance to go out and make connections, to meet and talk to fellow writers and professionals face-to-face and get my network on, is the best possible thing I can do for my writing career.

For one, folks in the know can identify the questions I haven’t been asking and make sure that I start asking them. I’ve mentioned them before, but Danielle Smith and Jen Rof é, the literary agents who lead SCBWI’s Picture Book Intensive at the LA Writer’s Days event, fed me so much great info that I’ve started exploring several new projects and opportunities as a result. I might have eventually arrived at similar avenues based on solo research, but these ladies saved me time and got me there faster.

In the form of critique groups, they can provide specific (rather than abstract) feedback for works in progress. And if you’re lucky enough to have folks in your critique group who are as awesome as mine, they might even tell you about all the cool upcoming blog contests, like RhyPiBoMo and the A to Z challenge! I certainly didn’t find them on my own.

Now if I could just get a little help carving out time for all of that creative writing I should be doing, I’ll be in business! Alas, I think that responsibility rests squarely on my shoulders.

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6 comments

  1. I have a hard time asking for help and for putting myself out their, as well. But I look at my goals and they require me to push myself in these two areas and it hasn’t been so bad. haha. Good luck with the rest of A to Z.

  2. I can totally relate. I don’t like to ask for help unless absolutely necessary. As far as writing is concerned, if you’re just writing for yourself, then you don’t need anyone, but if you want to write well and get published and get your name out there, then you need to get yourself out there and ask for help. As an introvert myself, I know it’s not easy. I was proud of myself this past weekend. I attended an SCBWI conference and forced myself to talk to five people I didn’t know, including raising my hand and asking an editor a question. I’m finding that writing for children is more fun when you share the experience with others. And I have to agree, I think my critique group is pretty awesome. 🙂

  3. I’m another one who relates to this as well! I think there are many of us introverts out there, and this internet thing is a good thing for us as one way of putting ourselves out there. I need to find a critique group, too. 😀

    1. Carolyn, what genre do you write in? If you write for children/YA, and haven’t already, join SCBWI. I formed my critique group through their members forum page.

  4. I worked in tech support as my day job until last September…but interestingly, I HATE solving my own computer problems. I’d rather just hand it over to someone else to handle. As a writer, networking is important, but don’t be fooled by people who seem to be really good at it. I learned through years of attending writers’ groups that the vast majority of writers (myself included) will do anything to avoid facing the fear of the blinking cursor!

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