If You Don’t Know Just Ask!

How many of us had that sentence thrown around during our classroom years. It seemed to be the teacher’s pet phrase of choice whenever the broached a subject that was bound to confuse or full on mystify us.

“If you don’t understand anything, just ask. The chances are that others are just as confused as you are.”

Yet there we sat, a classroom filled of glassy-eyed empty minded fools, nodding in all the right places, hoping that they asked the person sitting next to us what the answer was, while secretly planning which smart kid you would sit next to come test time.

Be honest now…

There go, don’t you feel better…


Out of all of the things I learned at school, this nugget of information was perhaps the most valuable.

It is remarkable to see how often you raise an issue, and see how many other people are in the same boat.

The writing community is rather close-knit, everybody is there for each other, to lend a helping hand, an ear, or perhaps a shoulder to cry on.

In many of my posts, I will talk about the issues that bother me in my writing, things that hold me back or make me pause for thought. When I write them, I often ask myself, am I going to look foolish writing this. Does this statement make me look like some clueless amateur who seems unable to grasp even the most basic of concepts.

Yet, once it is posted and I start talking to people, I quickly see that it isn’t just me, that other writers have the same struggles to face as me.

It is all too easy to lose ourselves in a self obsessed neurotic funk. To find ourselves slipping down the slope that leads to writers block and all other less than positive feelings and circumstances. When in reality, we are all the same boat, we struggle, on the whole with the same points. Almost all writers would rather write than edit, most would rather write than plan marketing strategies. We are creative people; artists of the written word. We may be unique in our stories, our styles of writing and the way we express ourselves upon the world, but it is in our troubles that we are united. A common goal and a common enemy in the war on self-doubt.

So here we are, together, in it for the long haul, so I urge you all to just speak up,

“If you don’t understand anything, just ask. The chances are that others are just as confused as you are.”

2 thoughts on “If You Don’t Know Just Ask!

  1. This post made me smile Alex. I think I speak for most writers when I say that it’s all too easy to /forget/ that we aren’t the only ones having the same issues. It’s one of those obvious things that never feels obvious at the time.

    I’m struggling to edit book 2 at the moment because I have a sneaky suspicion I’m going to have to change it, perhaps radically. As if that isn’t bad enough, my attention is also being pulled in opposite directions by the need to market. Ah well. At least I’m not alone. 😀

  2. due to liberal use of the ruler at school I learnt early and well not to raise my hand toask any question (I obviously wasn’t listening!) it took me over 4 decades to summon up the courage to ask – it still feels like I ought to flinch when i do so nearly 6 decades later – bt your’e right the writeing community up here are suporting, sympathetic and helpful and others do not know either whic makes one feel less like a duh!! oerson

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