A friend of mine who needs a couple of beta readers started talking to me about where she's planning on finding them--online communities of writers who are strangers. She hasn't interacted with them yet.
She's a supportive member of a vibrant local writing community, so I asked her why she wasn't looking for a critique within that community--she's already built respectful and true connections there.
She said that people are busy, and she didn't want to ask because she didn't want to bother anyone.
I told her that people would say no if they couldn't, and that I hoped that she would seek a reader within our community.
But it's so much more than that. Asking for something is often times a value exchange. For both parties. One person (hopefully) gets a thoughtful critique. The other gets to see their own mistakes in someone else's. Or see the things they do well. My writing grows so much when I critique others. Or the critiquer might get a future favor. Or karma for paying it forward. Because someone sometime gave them a critique. Whatever is exchanged, there is value on both sides of the equation.
And that is what Amanda Palmer says in her TED Talk: The Art of Asking. Value on both sides of the equation. I love the way she thinks about and interacts with her fans, her art.
And she makes a poetic case for self-publishing, I think. :) She's using a new model to get her art to her fans. Speaking of self-publishers, here's a few you will meet at the #nescbwi15 conference: our chair, Natasha Sass (writing under a pen name Ansha Kotyk) and Laura Pauling, who is presenting several workshops! (If you are planning on coming to #nescbwi15 and haven't registered, there are only a few spots until we sell out, so register soon!)
@AmandaPalmer writes more about this in her book by the same title, check it out here: http://amandapalmer.net/
What do you think? Has she taken the shame piece out of asking? Do you draw parallels between what she is doing with music and what you are doing with writing?