Ways to Be Seen in a Crowd Part II

By: Jeff Herman

4. Don’t be a nag, be a gift. Everyone likes gifts, and nobody likes nags. So why do so many aspiring writers (and others) act out like nags? It’s counterintuitive. Of course, nature teaches us from the moment we are born that the noisy baby gets the tit. Passivity invites neglect. Noise attracts attention. What an interesting conundrum. Nagging is bad. Passivity leads to death. Noise can’t be ignored. Well, all of that is equally valid, and none of it disqualifies the original point that you are a gift, so act like one.

5. Keep knocking, even after the door is opened. That does not make sense, and it might not be appreciated. But if someone were to keep knocking on my door even after I opened it, I would simply have to ask that person why he or she is doing that, and therein is the beginning of a conversation. Of course, it may all go downhill from there, but then it may not. What happens next depends on the nature of the conversation that has just been launched, regardless of its weird genesis.

6. Don’t ask for anything, but offer whatever you can. If that is the energy projected throughout your communications, you will attract due wealth. However, the word due is rather crucial in this context. A well-intentioned worm may end up on the end of a fish hook, and a nasty frog may be well-fed all summer. Too often people stop at just being nice, and then they become prey. Is it fair that they are eaten for doing nothing at all? Actually, that’s exactly what they asked for, to end up nourishing the needs of others. We must all serve a purpose, and we must all consume to survive. If you don’t wish to be consumed, then don’t present yourself for that. The universe is a layered place of lessons and challenges, and being a writer is just one of many ways to play the game. Don’t just give yourself away, any more than you would throw yourself away. If you value the gems you wish to share, you will discern with whom to grant them, and simply refuse to participate with others.

7. Know your gifts and appreciate them. I can tell right away when I am reading a query letter from a writer who believes in herself and the quality of her product, and I can see those who are not so sure that they should even be trying. Sometimes the writer is apologetic, or even goes as far as asking me if they should be trying. Ironically, the writer’s quality as a writer cannot be predicted by their native sense of self-worth. In fact, great 

literature has emerged from the hearts of those who are seemingly committed to a life of losing. But there is a logical explanation for that: To each writer is assigned a muse. Some writers may hate themselves while loving their muse, and it shows.

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