Ask for Help, Even When Writing
Recently one of my friends posted a quote from a university president as her Facebook status:
“If you learn anything… please learn to ask for help. It is a sign of wisdom and strength.” – David Skorton, Cornell University President
It’s an excellent concept; one in which I believe more and more as I get older. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign that a person is smart enough to know that there are things he or she doesn’t know yet.
The reason this is pertinent at this particular moment is that I have a new writing/book project. I’m working on creating a book based on signs around Japan that are translated into English – and done badly. My assignment from the publisher is to take photos of the signs and then write a blurb for each sign that is slightly amusing and includes a proper translation. The signs can be random or translated, bad English or just weird English. For some reason the Japanese like to take words in English and arrange them randomly on signs so that the message makes almost no sense. (I can’t show you examples of them now because then I can’t put them in the book.)
In order to take on this project, I have to run around finding the signs and taking the photos. I asked for help.
My friends have been noticing and taking photos of signs in all of their travels. Everyone tools around in different areas of Japan and finds different things that they can send. I am grateful to a huge number of people who will have contributed to my efforts and I will do my best to credit everyone who helps. I could not be doing this without assistance.
Asking for help when necessary is part of the job, even when writing.