Since jumping into writing The Kind Self-Healing Book two years ago, I’ve noticed that things moved forward at certain points with significant energy and power when I reached out to others for their help. While I had to write the book on my own, while that was the only way to write this book, I don’t feel like I did it alone.
I asked for help when I asked to use a friend’s office space for a weekend to write somewhere new. When you grow up in a dysfunctional family, you tend not to ask for favors. You think, it’s a hassle to get the keys from him for his office. You think, what if I can’t turn off the office alarm? You think, what if it doesn’t help — what if I can’t focus there? You think… you think… you think… about all the reasons why it might not work and that creates such a feeling of befuddlement that you throw up your hands and sigh, forget it.
I asked for help, collaborated, when I asked Marla of ripplestudio.net to draw some illustrations for me. I didn’t know how those first four drawings would evolve into a project — Marla went on to create dozens of illustrations for The Kind Self-Healing Book! It became a collaboration. She read pages of the book, then drew accompanying illustrations. Her art will bring the book to life in a new way that I couldn’t have imagined. It was an incredible experience.
I asked for help when I reached out to a new friend — a new friend = an even bigger risk! — to ask for a recommendation for where to scan original art into digital Illustrator files. Her response? “I can do it!” She had a scanner at her photography studio. She did me a big favor, and saved the budget for the book, too (the money of 134 kind souls). But the best thing was that I got to know her better and share some laughs through the process of dropping off pictures and picking them up. That is truly marvelous. (I never, ever, would have experienced that at Kinkos!)
I asked for help when I set up the Indiegogo campaign to fund the book. Here’s what’s so remarkable: 134 kind individuals are collaborating to make the book come to life!
I asked for help, collaborated, when I reached out to four friends to read the book in its final draft and give me feedback. They went above and beyond. They validated that the book was real and good, and they caught errors, suggested fixes, and helped me see what was working. They are collaborators, too.
I asked for help, collaborated, when I reached out to friends to participate in a “scones & typos” session, which you can read about on the book’s FB page, two Sundays ago.
I couldn’t have, wouldn’t have, come out of my shell to collaborate a few years ago. I didn’t collaborate in the ways above by “necessity.” Collaboration was an attractive choice. Year ago, I would have stopped short before reaching out to combine energies. More recently, I have come to believe that coming out of my shell to ask, “Hey would you mind…?” has become a big part of the healing process just as much as it’s a result of the healing process.
- be kind to yourself