"Zach, I'm not a mind-reader. If you need help or don't understand something, please ASK! I want to help you, but if I don't know, I can't."
My words to my son echo in my ears. So many times in the past, Zach has slipped under the radar because he hasn't spoken up in school. I haven't either. Not in school, but I've reached a point in my writing where something's got to give. I know quite a few authors through the writers' group where I'm a member. Do I ever ask for help? Usually it's like this:
"They'll say no."
"They're too busy."
"They're already helping people."
How do I know any of this? I don't.
Learning to ask for help is sometimes difficult for us independent types. We want to do it ourselves. Maybe we don't think enough of ourselves to believe anyone would help us. Or like Zach, do we think people "should know" we need help? I don't mean asking someone for help you've never met before and have no professional relationship. I mean, a writer asking a fellow writer for a hand.
I say these things because I know I'm not the only one who faces these dilemmas. Not wanting a critique or a line edit, but wanting some input and direction, and perhaps some correction, as painful at that may be.
"Ask, seek, knock" doesn't mean we're desperate. But then again, it doesn't mean sitting around waiting for someone to notice we could use some answers.