Receive Help Like a Pro

Most authors are really good at asking for help. They’ll go up to the most successful person they can find and pick their brain for hours. These pros are typically happy to dole out their hard-won wisdom. In our industry, no author can produce books fast enough for their audience, so we all have every incentive to help one another help our readers out. And thus, the author looking for advice is very likely to get it.

Thing is, asking for help is easy. Applying the help is hard.

The next time you find yourself the recipient of sage advice from an author you admire, take a moment to jot down a plan for actually putting the advice into practice. You owe it to yourself and to the pro to at least give it a try. It may turn out the advice doesn’t fit you as well as it fits them, but you’ll nevertheless come out of the experiment with a stronger career. You’ll have discovered something about yourself, about your niche, or about the world that you can apply in your next experiment.

At the bare minimum, you’ll have earned a mentor, because out of the hundred authors who asked for advice, you were the one who respected the pro’s time enough not to have wasted it.