Monday, April 11, 2011

The Humility of Help

As you know, The Light of Asteria was written from a deeply personal place. I originally never intended to share the story with anyone other than Kate. Because of that, there is a little too much of me in it. :- )
I won't get into the specifics of my psyche seeping into the characters, that would be way too much information. But one insight that's relevant to this post is when Nora states "...allowing someone to help goes against the grain of a survivor."

Most of you know that my life hasn't always been sunshine and roses, and while I wouldn't trade a moment of the good or the bad, for both have shaped who I've become, I will tell you that it has honed my survival instincts.

I've always felt that asking for help is a sign of weakness. It feels like I'm admitting to the world that I'm not smart enough, that I can't figure it out.  It feels like failure.

I believe that we all must learn lessons throughout our lives, and the one lesson I've learned on the road to publication is that you can't do it alone. It takes friends, beta readers, cover designers, formatters, editors of every type, website designers, and then there are the people who admire your work and are willing to take time from their busy schedule to help promote it. Regardless of whether you pay for their services or they're helping out of the goodness of their hearts, they have one thing in common. The are helping  you.

I'd really never thought about it until this past week. My computer has been on the fritz for a while now, but that hasn't stopped me from helping a few friends edit their manuscripts. I don't charge anything because others helped me, and I'm simply passing on that generosity to another indie author. And so yesterday it took me by surprise when one of those writers stopped by my home with a laptop in hand. I started to protest, but she explained that it was her way of thanking me. I was simply overwhelmed.

It was then that I understood that the emotions I feel when someone helps is not failure ... it's humility. Being able to reach out to others and admit that you need help means letting go of pride.


  1. Well, I don't think pride is a good thing in the one sense. But for some ppl, giving is just one of their ways of saying "Thank You!" So many times in my own life someone blessed me. Sometimes I honestly needed a hand--others, it was just to be nice. Regardless of the circumstance, the giver gave simply out of love. So never take a gift as anything but that. While humility is always a good lesson, (God reminds me of this when He sends ppl to talk to me, and I flounder for a half hour) just remember that most of the time, gifts are a matter of the heart :) Take them with a smile and know it's just a longer lasting version of a hug!

  2. This one will be hugging me for years! :-D

  3. You are so loved, Beth! I have to agree with Hope when she says, "it's just a longer lasting version of a hug!" There are so many of us that would hug ya and never let go. You give so much of your self with out asking for nothing in return. You are as rare as Nora. So, thanks for the humility and thanks for reminding all of us that sharing sometimes comes full circle back to us. {{HUGS}} from Cali!

  4. I <3 this post and I <3 you, too!

  5. Thanks Cyndi and Brandi!
    And Cali, it's five in the morning and I'm sitting here tearing up. That is possibly one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. I am so blessed to have met you all!