Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Writers Are The Best!

To all those who commented in my last post regarding field research, or sent me a personal email in response, THANK YOU so much for all your encouraging words and guidance. I am seriously blessed by having friends like you guys. Overwhelmed with gratitude, really! You are awesome examples of generosity of knowledge and encouragement.

For those who struggle like I do with field research, the general consensus is that people are happy to talk about what matters to them, so just ask. This surprised me with how busy people seem to be in our generation. But perhaps that's the very reason why they like to share information about their jobs or experiences--it's a break away from the rat race of their normal life.

So, when Google and Library searches fall short with the information you seek, having clear questions, and a desire to truly listen to the expert is all you really need. Seek and ye shall find. Sound familiar?

Once again I need to take the me out of the equation and trust God to open the paths I need. Since it appears I'm not alone in the shyness factor in this big blogosphere, I want to share a portion of an email I received that sums it all up. Shirley Atchison sent my post over to a friend, Michelle Flippin, who in turn responded with a wonderful example of how to do field research as well as the following words of direction and encouragement:

"I would not stress the fact that you are an unpublished writer. If you are a writer, you are a writer. Tell the interviewee about what you have written, are writing or like to write. If possible, offer to give them a copy of the book once published or manuscript once copywritten. Offer to acknowledge their contribution. Most people will gladly answer your questions to see their name or something they said in writing.

My final word of encouragement is this: Your confidence is in Christ. He enables you to do anything related to your calling, including research when writing a book. Trust in Him to guide your questions, your words and your interaction with the interviewee."


Those wonderful words, and the way they came to me, blessed my socks off. I hope it does the same for all who have struggled like me!

Thanks again for all your input and sharing! As soon as I'm done this first draft (in less than two weeks with NaNoWriMo), I'm definitely contacting the Inn keeper in our nearby town to gather those tiny details that I need to bring my manuscript to life with a whole lot of God-confidence inspired by you all!


Surrendering to Him,

Eileen

28 comments:

Jessica said...

Good for you!!

I agree, writers are the best. :-)

Rebecca Nazar said...

Ain't we all. High five, writerly friend(s)!

sherrinda said...

Writers are such helpful creatures, aren't they? :)

Heather Sunseri said...

Writers are awesome! And that's great advice from the email. Love it!

Jennifer Shirk said...

I love Michelle's words! Thanks for sharing!

Jody Hedlund said...

Everything you said is so true, Eileen! Thanks for sharing her response! Have a wonderful day!

T. Anne said...

Powerful encouragment. Thank you for sharing that!

Joanne said...

Great advice from Michelle. Professionalism, all the way, is a great reflection on the seriousness of your work.

Terri Tiffany said...

It puts it all back into perspective, doesn't it? When we follow what God wants us to do, we'll do what it takes!

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I love that...your confidence is in Christ! It's a defining verse in my life and one I've posted under my blog title. Forgetting that is like my forgetting to eat.
~ Wendy

Georgiana said...

Writers really are the best bunch, full of caring people.

Hey, I just saw your sidebar. 30,000 words! WOOHOO!

Carla Gade said...

I've found the writing community to be so encouraging and supportive. To my surprise, published authors are so happy to help newbies. What a blessing! It is just wonderful. And for us aspiring novelists, we are here for one another along the way.

Shirley's advice was excellent!

Jill Kemerer said...

What an encouraging letter! Thanks for sharing it. Great advice!

Erica Vetsch said...

Your posts always make me smile.

And way to go on that wordcount! I'm hoping to hit 30K myself today.

Julie Dao said...

Good for you, Eileen!!! Good luck collecting the information you need :)

Susan R. Mills said...

What a great email. It really sums it all up, doesn't it?

Reesha said...

That's awesome!
I hear a lot of my friends bashing the whole social networking thing because it wastes so much time and is never productive.
This just shows the opposite. Thanks for sharing!

Cindy said...

How wonderful, I am so happy you were blessed by the e-mail and the encouraging words.

Writer's are awesome!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

I'm sure that innkeeper will be thrilled! Who knows? It's a chance to encourage that person and minister to them as well. I hope it's a great meeting!

Katie Ganshert said...

What an awesome email! Wow. I know I tend to shy away from contacting people for the very same reasons you stated. I'm not published and people seem so busy these days.

I ventured down the road of an actual phone conversation during the prewriting of the book I'm writing now. I talked to this lawyer for over an hour on the phone about buying out a business and I can't even tell you how informative it was. And the guy was beyond gracious and helpful! I was nervous, too!

Linda Kage said...

Yay! It's wonderful to read your enthusiasm and encouragement. Glad you got the boost you need from higher and lower powers both!!

Warren Baldwin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Warren Baldwin said...

Hey, found a couple of mistakes the first time I posted this. So, here is the 2nd take.

Just read your previous post and then this one. Really liked the answer by Michelle.

A couple of my thoughts about field research and interviewing people.

1) Be upfront. You are a writer even if you aren't published in a book. There are all kinds of writing. I had a published author refer to me as a writer several times and I wondered what he meant by that. He said that even though my work at the time was just published articles, they were written works, so I was a writer. I think the same thing goes for writing blog articles. So, even if you are an unpublished book author, you are still a writer.

2) Those who have published books will be less likely to laugh at you than those who have not. Successful people do not laugh at people starting out, only the unsuccessful people do. Think about it: a highly successful businessman/woman, author, inventor, etc. knows that their accomplishments are possible because they have done it, often against insurmountable odds. And they know that others after them will be successful, too, if they will do the hard work necessary. So, they will be more inclined to give advice, encouragement, help etc. The unsuccessful have not climbed the ladder, and many don't intend to, so they may be more inclined to think that you can't do it, either.

If you need some advice about publishing, someone who has done it is the one to run to.

Interestingly, I asked a professor at Princeton to do a promotional comment for my book. I also quoted him in the book, and sent him that section to read. He didn't know me or my work, so declined, but did approve and appreciate my use of his work. After it was published I sent him a copy and he liked it, and even had a favorite chapter (which was not the one with him in it!). So, I knew he read it. His endorsement of the book (a Princeton professor) is a great boost to me! What if I had shied away from asking him for his comments? Even though I didn't get the endorsement in advance of publication for promotional purposes, I did get his encouragement and approval (which meant a lot) and later, his compliments.

So, Eileen, go for it! wb

Patti Lacy said...

This is one of THE coolest blogs anywhere and has some of THE coolest visitors. So I am announcing that all y'all check out my new blog (kinda) at www.pattilacy.com/blog. Hope to touch the souls of writers, readers, and believers as Eileen has.

quietspirit said...

Eileen:
At a writers conference two weeks ago, one of the presenters told us " We are all collegues."

My writing group ladies say "No one understands a writer like another writer."

Lily Robinson said...

I loved that advice about not stressing you're unpublished. You ARE a writer. I AM a writer. I feel good now!

God provides all we need if we just listen to His instructions.

Lee Smith said...

I am so shy that I dreaded this part of writing more than any other. I actually did my very first interview a week ago. It went so well! I interviewed a doctor because in both my current WIP and the next one I am researching/planning, I have some medical information I needed to be accurate about.

It turns out both the doctor and his wife are avid readers and he was really excited to be involved in the book at this point in the process. So, the fact I am such an introvert was offset by his joy. God made a way to overcome my fear and provide for the information I needed.

I also am thankful for the authors that have come alongside me and shared their expertise and encouragement.

You have a beautiful blog and I love your insights. Thank you for sharing.

REG said...

Thanks for sharing that advice fellow nanowrimo christian romance woman. I can really relate to the avoidance in research.