How often do we search for convoluted answers to problems when the solution is really simple? When it’s right in front of us? Henry Ford was once asked by an insurance agent he’d known for many years why he never received any of Ford’s business. Ford’s reply? “You never asked me.”
We’ve all hit rough patches in our writing — times when what we really need is some kind of help to keep us going. But so often, instead of asking for it or reaching out to get it, we try to figure it out on our own. Like Ford’s friend, we don’t ask for what we want or need.
And yet, there are so many kinds of help available to us!
We can ask a friend to brainstorm with us and come up with solutions to whatever problem we face — and we can offer to return the favor whenever they get stuck — and they surely will.
We can turn to our critique group and ask for help with a specific issue we’re dealing with: a clumsy plot point that isn’t working, a character who doesn’t seem alive enough. Often someone will come up with the germ of an idea that can morph into the perfect solution.
We can check out on-line webinars that promise to give us insight into a writing problem we’re dealing with. Just one idea — or the germ of one — can start us on the right road.
We can turn to trusted how-to guides to inspire and instruct us. I have a whole shelf of these and find that picking one up and paging through it will often give me the inspiration I need to untangle a writing knot.
We can consider working with an editor or copy editor or another professional who can give us objective advice and resources we can tap to bring the novel or play we’re working on to life.
We write alone, but we don’t have to be lonely writers. When we write ourselves into a corner and need help, there are so many ways to find it! All we have to do is look around us and be willing to ask for what we need. Write on!