Friday, August 20, 2010

Asking for Help

I see myself as a pretty independent person and I looove to help others.  Unfortunately, I find it difficult to ask others for help.  After a lot of therapy I have an idea why this is, but you don't really want to hear about that mess.  I have learned that not asking for help is really not fair to my friends, family, or me, so  I'm working on that one.  Don't you just love that statement ... "I'm working on it". It is so non-committal.

Now professionally I work the same way when it comes to asking for help.  I tend to feel like I have to do everything.  Believe me, it just adds a ton of stress to my projects.  And often keeps me from even starting the project.  When I began laying out my book, Life With Sally:  Little White Dog Tails I planned on doing everything myself.  But after many sleepless night and too many hours on the internet trying to understand .html and .jpeg and other things I had no clue about, I discovered out that if I wanted to get the book in print, I was going to have to ask for help.

First, I asked writing friends for help with editing and proofing.  I knew that since I hated grammar, I was going to miss spelling and grammar errors.  I brought pieces to my writing groups, asked my friend Ellen to edit, and then paid to have the final draft edited.  And guess what I learned, friends WANT to help.  That's why they're called Friends. 

Next I asked my son, Jake, a graphic designer ( to help me with the covers.  That turned out to be a great move.  Jake did an amazing job with the front and back covers, as well as helping me with marketing tools.  He is better at working "outside of the box" and that is just what I needed.  [I have to remind myself to get "out of the box" and then I spend so much time trying to "get out," that by the time I do I don't remember why I wanted to "get out" in the first place.]

Working with Jake we did have a few disagreements, like when he showed me two book cover suggestions.  I chose one and he said "trust me on this" and he chose the other.  I let him win on that one and I'm glad I trusted him because the cover is amazing. 

So now I'm trying to get started on a non-fiction book project and I have been putting it off for months.  My gremlins are working overtime with me on this one, and so far they have been winning.  Nothing I have tried has worked, so it is time to ask for help from a book coach.  So for the past few days I have been reviewing the websites of "nonfiction book coaches."  Even just exploring this process has my stomach tied in knots.  But I want to get this project started and finished, so I am smacking my gremlins off my shoulders and moving forward.  The two that I have sent inquiries to are and  My palms were sweating while I typed the e-mails to them.  Silly?  Yes.  Real?  Absolutely.

Now I'll see what kind of response I get and I'll keep you posted on my journey.



Lisa Preston said...

What an honest post. I appreciate your openness.

smcelrath said...

I am so incredibly proud of you! You inspire me to get back in the saddle and send out another query. You Rock!