Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer

The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People HelpThe Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book has resonated with me on so many different levels I'm not even sure if I'm aware of them all. Maybe it's because we're the same age or we both love Neil Gaiman (on admittedly different planes), or because at my core I consider myself a self-doubting artist/photographer. I relate to the problem with asking for help that Amanda Palmer has dealt with. We all have at some level. For me, I feel in my bones and my veins and my breath that I need to pursue photography. I know what I'm doing. I know what I'm looking for when I put my eye to the lens. Despite this,it's impossible for me to ask for work. I need to put myself and my work out there. This may well give me the courage to try. When something resonates with you (as this book did with me) it's a plucked string left to vibrate. You can either just let it go until it eventually dies, or you let it be the first note of a masterpiece. I need to take more photos. Thank you Amanda.


I wrote the above portion when I was about 3/4 of the way through this book. They were immediate impressions and I wanted to get them down. I really think they sum up pretty well a lot of the feelings I have for this book but now that I'm done, I feel I should note just a few more things. While the theory in this book is almost anti-self-help, the practice of it is very much the opposite. By learning to ask others for help, you very much help yourself by opening yourself up to trust and love. It feels like a profound lesson when you read it and let it sink in but it's a little sad that we need to teach ourselves these things at all. We need to be kinder to ourselves. It's also a meaningful lesson in acknowledging that the "crowd" is always made up of individual living, breathing, human beings. Whether the crowd is a kickstarter group, the twitter masses, or the residents of Ferguson, MO. It's so easy in this day to forget that and convey hurtful messages to the crowd, forgetting that individual human beings will read those words.

So....if you have trouble asking for help or taking it when it is freely offered, read this book. If you are feeling a disconnect from the rest of the world, read this book. If you have trust issues, read this book. If you are a human being, read this book.

This review is based on a free e-edition received from Netgalley.com. Lack of money being exchanged in no way influenced this review.

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