Writing Lesson: Becoming Our Own Best Advocates

by Karen Debonis

” I didnt want to bother you,” I responded to.

” Karen, its me, Michael,”
he stated, taking a look at me incredulously. “Just tell me where you require to go and
Ill take you.”

The very expression “self-advocacy” in the context of my writing
offers me shivers of uneasiness. Will you follow me on social media? Read my
latest essay? Blurb my book? Buy my narrative (someday), and after that please, oh
please, compose an evaluation?

” Why didnt you tell me you needed a flight? he asked.

Ive never been excellent at requesting for help, for anything.
When my spouse and I were dating in college in Washington, D.C., he had an automobile
and I didnt. When, I informed him I took a really
inconvenient bus flight someplace.

Why We Cant Ask

* * * * * *.

Im not alone in my reluctance to request for assistance, and for me, its.
a symptom of people-pleasing. Youve probably become aware of this character.
quality– of people who just cant say NO. Trust me, its rarely that basic.

Because I had not yet admitted to myself how deeply imbedded my.
need to please was and not promoting strongly enough for my son was too.
disgraceful to admit, I rationalized. Possibly Im overreacting. Perhaps Matthew is.
just eccentric. Perhaps Im wrong.

I wasnt wrong. Turned out Matthew, eleven, had a brain tumor.
And I had a head and heart filled with regret.

My experience with this complicated obsession is that the.
internal pain of possibly displeasing somebody– theyll be irritated,.
theyll believe Im pushy/aggressive/stuck-up– overshadows the possibly unfavorable.
effects of the action: I will not get what I require.

Final Thoughts.

When I wrote a blog honoring our good friend, I.
asked my neighbors to subscribe to my website site read it. I asked.

Karen began composing twenty years earlier after her eleven-year-old child was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Those early pages are now a real-life medical secret about a mom who should overcome her toxic agreeability if shes to conserve herself and her child. The manuscript is presently in submission for publication.
A pleased empty-nester with her husband of thirty-seven years, Karen writes and lives in upstate New York. You can learn more about her journey at www.KarenDeBonis.com.

At its worst, the unfavorable consequences of what I call “harmful.
agreeableness” can be ravaging, and Im an unfortunate case-study. Twenty.
years ago, when our pediatrician dismissed my issues about my young childs.
deteriorating health, I wasnt able to push back. I didnt wish to appear impolite.
or disagreeable. I didnt want to be overbearing. I didnt desire a credibility as.
that mom, the mischief-maker. Or, in contemporary parlance, I didnt desire to.
be a “Karen.”.

My smart therapist as soon as said that not requesting help.
deprives that individual of an opportunity to reveal they care. You understand how good it.
feels to do something nice for somebody? Why not presume others will wish to.
do that for you? Recently, I reconnected with some previous next-door neighbors when we.
lost a mutual pal to COVID-19. I.
asked my neighbors to subscribe to my website to read it when I composed a blog honoring our good friend. I knew they d be.
delighted to comply, and they were.

Ive used my newfound assertiveness to help me deal with the “huge.
asks” required of a wannabe published author. Here are the 3 rules that.
guide me:.

This has been a fake-it-till-I-make-it undertaking. By imitating I value my self-respect as an author, Im gradually coming to believe it deep in my soul. And the more I think it, the more my shivers of uneasiness become flutters of anticipation.

Im supposed to compose for the large joy of it? Asking.
about payment felt like a business deal instead of a writers-helping-writers.
cooperation. It felt yucky– the very best way I can explain it, even as a.
writer. I understood I d never discover if I didnt offer it a shot. I asked.

I practice great literary citizenship.

Ive made development. I can frequently ask the supermarket bagger.
to put the tomatoes on top. I informed my writing review group that two hours on.
Zoom is my limit. And recently, when my physiotherapist removed her mask to.
give me guidelines, I asked her well to keep it on.

The Game-Changing Moment.

A degree of procrastination and hand-wringing is appropriate.
when I have a “huge ask,” however I do not permit myself to back.
down, and I do not listen to my own reasons. Regardless of.
the pain, I ask.

The answer was no. And I didnt care. The honor of my name.
appearing amongst many knowledgeable authors is valuable. Nobody at WITS, even.
the editors who make the rest of us look excellent, makes a dime. But the point is,.
I reached beyond my stress and anxiety and presented the question. And I knew among my first.
blogs would be to inform this story because it represents the individual development my.
composing journey has motivated.

When the recipient of my “ask” is another writer, I feel less.
If Ive already supported their work, uncomfortable approaching them. Ive made it a.
practice, when I read a memoir I like, to offer the book a luxury evaluation,.
promote it on social networks, and locate the author to match them. In.
doing that, asking these authors for advance dedications to blurb my book has.
been almost painless.

Mentioning development, Ive left you hanging about Matthew. At.
thirty-three, hes made amazing development. Like mother, like son, he.
periodically succumbs to people-pleasing, but he never ever goes for tomatoes.
at the bottom of the bag. In more ways than I can count, hes my.

I keep in mind that others might invite a chance to grant.
a favor.

Maybe some day soon I will just feel anticipation when the “big ask”– will you purchase my narrative– emerges.

Are you excellent at “the huge ask,” or do you struggle like me? I d like to hear what you have to state down in the remarks section!

I do not offer myself a choice.

Due to the fact that of that dark time, which was the basis of my narrative, it.
is now my lifes function to face and overcome my people-pleasing. How else.
can I potentially make meaning of my story?

Applying This Transformation to My Writing.

Like any objective worth pursuing, my imagine publishing has actually forced me to press previous my pain. The need to self-advocate is slowly letting the air out of my people-pleasing bubble.

Are you excellent at “the big ask,” or do you have a hard time like me? Karen started writing twenty years ago after her eleven-year-old child was detected with a brain tumor. Those early pages are now a real-life medical mystery about a mother who should overcome her toxic agreeability if shes to conserve herself and her boy.

About Karen.


When I was welcomed to be a guest blog writer on, I utilized this method.
Writers in the Storm. It was such an honor and my first thought was, “Who.
me?” However the big concern sitting on my tongue was, “Do.
you pay?” Its a concern freelance writers firmly insist is non-negotiable, however it.
was a tough obstacle.

To put it simply, what others think about me has mattered more.
than what I consider myself.

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