We have all of these emotions, all the time. There's never a time when you're not feeling something. Even if you're feeling blah, you're still feeling. But the worst thing (to me) is being afraid. (Now...start singing some Eminem, no, really, sometimes it helps.)
|My sister and I thugging out. (I'm on the left, funny, no?)|
Anyways, I hate learning new things. More-so, I hate admitting that I don't already know how to do something. Part of it, I think, is ridicule, "You don't know this?" like everyone on the planet already has this knowledge that somehow managed to elude me, that maybe I should have been born with it. Some of it is shame, like I should in fact already know these things... Some of it is just my typical anxiety.
But, something I've learned over the last few months is to ASK for help.
Don't be afraid.
I got a Twitter account and had no idea how to use it. I thought it was like facebook, where you could like stuff and write on people's walls (profiles). Turns out, I was wrong. In the end, I asked one of my fellow employees how to use it. She gave me advice on how to post and get more followers, how to start conversations, what tags meant, etc.
Once I was on twitter and rocking it, the entire universe expanded (although I still don't know how to schedule tweets...I'm still trying to learn that one..).
I learned from Marilyn Almadovar, who I met on twitter, how to more efficiently utilize blogger. Did you know that you can schedule blog posts for the next day? Or a week later? Neither did I, so I asked and she taught me how to do this. (You go to post options, there's a little section that says "Schedule at:" I may or may not have been doing this all week.)
From Janna Cawrse Esarey, I learned how to perfect my pitch which ended up getting me two agent partial requests. She hosted a panel at PNWA and stayed after, critiquing writer's pitches. But, in order to get help, I had to stop being afraid of her tearing me apart, and it turned out really well. (I made sure to find her by the end of the conference, buy her book, and thank her.)
A couple of months ago, I got an e-mail from a reader on the blog who saw that I'd written two novels in under 30 days, each. She asked if I had any tips on writing quickly, so my next blog post was about speed writing.
Beyond that, if you just give a call out, "Hey I'm looking for a beta reader," sometimes people will respond. If not, what have you lost? Nothing, really.
Remember: It never hurts to ask, the worst a person can say is no. Most of us writers want to help out because we've all been there. (Just please, don't harass the agents or editors. It makes us all look bad...)
In other, unrelated news, I just finished an entire pack of Mint Oreo cookies in under 24 hours...more like 12 hours. Don't judge.