Sunday, August 14, 2011

To ask or not to ask

Here's my random thought for the day... really random, but it came to me when I was working on this week's Writing Profession Series. Now I am a deep thinker sometimes, mostly I like to cruise along the rims of my psyche instead of diving deep. That leads me to the question: To ask or not to ask?

This question can cover a variety of topics for a writer. Some topics that spring to my mind are asking someone to be a critique partner, asking for query help, or to guest spot on a blog.

Now, I'm not a big asker. I'm a helper. This means I would rather learn independently on my own through books, internet, etc. without having to specifically ask someone for the information. Asking takes time, and if you work at all, writing or otherwise, time is a commodity. Understand I don't mean that asking wastes my time, but takes time from the person I'm asking.
It took a lot of pushing to overcome my anxieties about asking people to guest spot on my blog. I realized that people guest on other blogs all the time, but usually those authors are familiar with one another. Who wants to guest spot on the blog of someone they barely know? I found out a lot of people are willing if you are kind, respectful, and honest.
Then comes the next part asking for query help. Luckily there are a lot of blogs where others offer their services. Thank goodness! But one on one feedback would be really wonderful, I just can't bring myself to ask. So I stick to reading other queries that receive help. Try to glean what I can from the feedback for the future.
Next the critique partner phase. This one is extremely difficult for me. I've dabbled in offering feedback for query letters, critiquing on critique circle, and have even searched for local groups (with no luck). I tried starting a group, but it seems the author's in my corner of the world are either not available, have their own avenues, or are just to far spread (location and genre) to get involved. So do I ask? Or not?
Typically I choose NOT because again who am I? And why would someone want to turn their novel into my hands for feedback? You've got to build cred and I'm attempting to do that by reading, reviewing, and honing my own craft before I offer my services or ask for anyone else's.
The demented psyche within me says that the worst anyone can say is no, but the nice person in me says that other authors and writers are probably already bombarded with those types of questions all the time. I don't want to impose and believe in leaving it up to the universe... to some extent.
Guess you could say I just need a set of brass ones. Guess you could say I'm a wimp. I guess I have to get used to the idea that we have to ask questions, take rejections, and suck it up!
My question: Would you ask or not?


  1. Ask. See, networking is huge. By asking, you make yourself visible. Then too, if the person being asked is too busy, they might know someone they can refer you to and, voila, you have a new contact. (Disclaimer: I too am a wuss when it comes to asking. Super simple to dish the right advice; not so easy to follow it!)

  2. @phoenix That's the truth... advice is some much easier to take when you are giving it.