As authors, we write, market, build platforms, create connections, and successfully live in both the virtual and real world. We do all this because that’s the job. That is not a complaint, but a fact. People with more intelligence on the matter will discuss tribes and such, and of course they are correct. But what underlies all this activity is a four-letter word: Help.
For me, someone who is ruggedly independent (at least in my mind), I struggle with that. I don’t like asking for help, and certainly do not like to the idea that I might need it. Yet, that word and all it embodies is precisely what every author needs. I didn’t get a publishing contract without my agent. Heck, I didn’t get my writing up to spec without a writers group. And now I continue to try and raise awareness for who I am and what my work is all about on social media outlets. Social media. A multitude. Of people who help.
I am new to the social platform, and not surprisingly, am hit or miss. Yet, I recently had the opportunity to help another writer, who in the past has helped me. None of this would have occurred without our connected lifestyle. And that opportunity, more than any article I’ve read or conversation I’ve heard has made all the difference, because it had nothing to do with me helping me.
I think the term “Karma” is overused and often misapplied, but maybe it works for this situation? If so, then I feel better about “getting myself out there.” Because shouting for attention does not interest me. But seeing the circular help does.
And as I consider my work as an author, this fact doesn’t surprise me. Every piece I have ever written has an element of someone needing help–the one thing I’m afraid of seeking.
Well, then, as Whitman said, “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”
Don’t we all? Therefore, I’m coming to terms with platform and attention-seeking and all the rest, as I’m sure so are many of you. I would offer then a paradigm shift on the perspective of help. We still need to help ourselves, but more importantly, answer this: How can what you post, tweet or share assist not only you, but that multitude who has your back?
Feel free to help me figure it out.