Can I get a little help?

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.

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7 thoughts on “Can I get a little help?

  1. Eric, I am still trying to sort this stuff out myself (and will gladly pass along anything I learn when I actually learn it <:-| .) We go from the essential solitude of creation to the very public place of promotion and marketing. From being self-reliant to needing, as you say, the help andrn guidance of those who have walked this road before us. No one tells us this when we first pick up a pen and notebook and answer the call of our muse.
    We can but hope that karma smiles upon us….
    Good luck….

    • So true, and probably for the best. Who knows how many voices might be scared off by the details of the writing life? I’ll gladly take any and all advice. As always, thanks.

  2. Eric, thank you so much for the letter of rec (assuming you were talking about me, LOL)– I will gladly send you the “Platform” I sent my agent– it’s basically an outline of my media presence, personal appearances, etc., that I have done in the recent past.

  3. Uh…pretty sure I was going to say EXACTLY what Shawn said up there ^^ heh. (Except you know me, and know I’m not nearly that eloquent).

    Asking for guidance isn’t innate to control freaks. And let’s face it, authors are control freaks. But, we can’t do any of this alone, so we have to get over it. I’m certain that’s why people at different stages of the game were put into our lives. To help.

    • True that.

      See, eloquence is not a requirement. And don’t worry, Shawn’s writing is beautiful. She puts us all to shame 🙂 But, I hear you, it’s a weird, winding road that is a blast, and one that is certainly more fun to walk with others, not missing the scenery while gazing into a mirror.

      See, I can do that just there, because it’s not #deepthoughtsfortuesday

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