Asking for help doesn’t come easy, certainly not to me. It’s not that I don’t want to admit to needing help, it’s more that I don’t want to be a bother. But unless you ask, nobody knows what you need. Unless you learn to articulate your needs they will remain unmet.
Writing is a lonely business. Personally I like that. I will come out and say I am not much of a team player; if there is a job to be done I prefer to get on and do it myself and if somebody else has done it I have to sit on my hands to stop myself redoing it the way I would have done it. I can be a right royal pain in the backside to work with. The idea of writing a book with somebody else freaks me out, I just cannot imagine how they do it, but Nicci French (Nicci Gerrard and Sean French) are proof that it can be done, and very successfully. But probably not by me.
However, sometimes I wonder if I am writing in a void. I have thousands of words neatly stacked away in one and a half novels and various short stories but nobody to read them. I have no idea if they are any good, readable, a load of rubbish or somewhere in between. I have shyly told a few people I write, but aside from my internet friends, only a few of my IRL friends know. Well that was until last night.
I came clean on Facebook and asked for readers and criticism. With two exceptions everybody I know on FB I know IRL. They know me as a colleague, friend, mother, whatever. Almost none of them know me as a writer.
I was terrified, it’s fine for someone you don’t know and will never meet to give you a hard critique on Authonomy. It is quite another for someone you will have to face every day to come back to you and say “whoa, love your cakes but not so keen on the books”. Worse still, what if they don’t even want to read anything you’ve written. “I’ve seen your cakes but don’t fancy any of them.”
I wrote the post, I looked at it. I had a glass of wine. I asked the opinion of the dogs (I really did). I closed my eyes and hit submit.
They replied in droves, yes they would love to read it. Please send it to me. I have a friend who has a small publishing house would you like me to contact her? I was staggered.
So, in the light of my earlier post on graciously receiving I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who responded to my post. And I would like to say thank you for proving to me that you only have to ask.