Sunday, February 17, 2013

Just Ask

By Rich

We of the community known as writers are not the most social of butterflies. Hunkered down in our home offices or surrounded by empty cups of coffee and chai tea in the back corners of coffee shops, we sit hunched over our laptops, typewriters, and legal pads as the ideas flow from our frontal lobes into our fingers. Rarely do we raise our bloodshot eyes from work, except to empty our bladders from the many cups of coffee and chai tea surrounding us.

It also means we don't converse with many folks while plugging away at our latest creation, and sometimes this leads to lost opportunities. For you see, half of writing success comes from talent and being in the right place at the right time with the appropriate amount of rabbits' feet. The other half comes from who you meet, as they may be the ones who allow you to make yet another step towards the goal of telling your manager to sod off as you make that jump into a full-time writing career.

Case in point - a situation that occurred to me last week. I was writing material for an anonymous organization on a content mill when I received a direct message of thanks from one of the clients. In the note, I was asked to directly contact him at his website if I had any questions. This wasn't something that happened to me before in the months I worked for the site, so I was a little unsure about the next step.

Shrugging, I clicked over the client's website, reviewed the material, went to the contact page, and basically asked him if he was looking for writers. He quickly responded and, in less than two hours, I was hired to provide weekly material for much more than I was getting writing 500 word pieces at the content mill. Plus, there was an option to produce material for his other sites. Not J.K. Rowling territory, but a step forward nonetheless.

I took a huge lesson from this experience - it doesn't hurt to ask. No matter how big the person at the other end of the communication device or what they say ahead of time, making a simple query can open a door for you in the now or the later. So, when you step outside your working area in order to get some color into your ghoulish complexion, think about what questions you can ask others to nudge your writing career in the proper direction.

Did an out-of-the-blue question from your end result in a positive outcome?


Jessica Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Well that's pretty cool! We do tend to get used to our little caves and forget to reach out and interact with others... this is a great example of what happens when we take that small step and respond (and put our work out there)! Yay for you! :)


M. K. Theodoratus said...

Congrats. Makes checking your in-box seem worthwhile.

Dean K Miller said...

If sending off a story on a lark and getting published...why yes. Also, getting into PHWFF was the same...I simply asked somehow how and now I'm in and loving it.

If you don't ask, you have what is. If you do ask, you either gain or have what you have.

Why not ask?

(congrats, BTW.)

Lynn said...

Someone once said (I'm bad at remembering sources) "You don't get 100% of the things you don't ask for."

I'm loathe to "bother" so this is a good reminder that asking is no big deal and can result in a win-win for both parties. Thanks!

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