I tell my son that the stupid people aren't those who need help; it's those who neglect to ask for it.
So I'm asking for it.
Here's the deal. I'm trying to get my writing gig off the ground. I think I've been pretty smart about it so far. After being unexpectedly downsized, within a week I had a website up, business phone, email and a PO Box, an appointment for small business counseling, business cards, business checking, networking meetings, and an appointment with the Chamber of Commerce. I was "on it" enough to realize that I had to walk before I ran, and wanted to make sure I had all the "back-end" business stuff out of the way before the clients started beating down my door.
Hmmmmm... sure is quiet in here.
I went to a very eye-opening meeting last week where I had to give a five-minute presentation on what I do. I was completely unprepared, and as I nervously said my piece, I found that it was very hard to describe what I do - or what it is I WANT to do. THAT is my challenge this week. So I'm going to practice here, then ask for help.
If you look at my website, the first line of my bio is "Everyone and everything has a story to tell." I truly believe this is true, and that sentence pretty much encompasses what I want to do.
I want to tell people's story. Because you all have one.
While writing for a local magazine in town, I truly loved doing feature articles educating people on a little known place, tooting someone's horn about a new business or community service, or educating people about a financial topic or wellness issue.
When I worked for an agency, my most favorite piece I wrote was about an orthopedic company and the people whose lives were utterly transformed because of the practice owners' technology, talents and compassion. These were people who went to work every day just like you and me (OK, well, not me...), but were accomplishing extraordinary things, right under our noses.
I want to help. I want to educate. I want to spread the word. From a non-profit doing miraculous things with zero budget to a doctor making six figures but spending his vacations helping out in third world countries - these are stories that beg to be told - and all the seemingly "everyday" stories in between.
On a smaller scale, I enjoy telling people's stories in their resumes. I'm amazed at how much more I can put into a work history by talking to the person versus asking them to write down "what they did". I've even penned a few online dating profiles for some friends who were at a loss as to how to describe themselves. That's just good fun.
Let's face it - there's nothing wrong with tooting your own horn, but especially if you're not the one tooting it. So I guess what I'm saying is - let me be the horn. Let me sing your praises. Let me help you get more funding, more business, more exposure. I'm good at what I do, and if you're good at what you do, that's a win/win for both of us right there.
So what am I asking? Advice. Suggestions. What to do next. Is this a feasible leap I'm taking or am I chasing an elusive dream in a shaky economy? Is there a market out there for a writer like me? Or... as I am thinking... do I have to convince people that they NEED someone like me?
I feel a little stupid right now... but that also makes me feel like I am doing the right thing. It's hard to ask for help, especially when you feel like you should know what you are doing. But if I've learned nothing on my 42 years on this planet, it's that everyone has something to contribute, and sometimes you just gotta shut up and listen.
So I'm listening... and hoping the quiet doesn't go on much longer.