The Art of Asking, Spreading the Love, and Sarah’s Walking Dead One of a Kind

A few days ago I watched Amanda Palmer’s TED Talk The Art of Asking twice. It left me with a few thoughts and I have to be honest with myself and say that there is no way in hell that I am going to make all of those thoughts into one cohesive post: it is just not going to happen.

Instead, I’m going to do something else. Amanda mentions in her Talk that it is very hard to ask for help and while in context she was actually referring to artists–and I will definitely be getting back to that point in another Blog entry–I think this can be applied to the main act of asking those to help you attain your dream.

It is hard. It has certainly been hard for me for a variety of reasons that can ultimately be shored up to shyness, introversion, and a need to not intrude on other people’s space. I also tend to fall back on the mindset that most people are self-interested and will only help if they see that they can get something out it for themselves. And that’s okay. The fact of the matter is a mutual exchange of getting what you want and need is a good thing. In fact, in a lot of ways it is how we relate to other people.

A little while ago, I found this WordPress Blog called Sarah On The Go! during the great influx of people, Followers and “Likers” that were reading my own Blog when I got Freshly Pressed. [Edit: Actually Sarah found me through my What is FV Disco? post but anyway … :)] I came to know after perusing this Blog that Sarah is a major Walking Dead fan. I’ve heard enough about the show and the comics to be really intrigued by this series. In fact, I’ve been meaning to actually find a way to access the comic books first before watching anything.

But the main point that I want to make is that Sarah is essentially a Walking Dead fanatic who has entered The Walking Dead Always One of a Kind Fan Contest. The grand prize of this contest is for the winner and their friends to be flown down to Los Angeles in order to meet the cast of the show at premier of Series Four. Each contestant creates a 60 second video explaining why they are “the greatest fan” of the show and why they should win the contest. Then, every 24 hours someone can click to vote for this person and the videos with the most votes will be judged by the series’ writer and producer Robert Kirkman. It is, more or less, that simple.

I happen to like zombies. I even like writing zombie stories. I also know what it is like to really want something–with all your heart–and have draw on your own sheer will to ask for the help in getting it. This is Sarah’s Video entry and you can examine her amount of enthusiasm for yourself.

But I am voting for her. Why? Well I can say that if she does win, I can imagine that she would make a good write-up for the experience on her Blog: along with her detailed reviews of each Walking Dead episode so far as I can see. But that’s not it. I do not follow her Blog as often and I don’t really know her that personally.

Ultimately, the reason I want to help her–to get her entry out there for more people to see–is because I want to.

Or, more simply, because I can.

It is an empowering feeling: probably almost on par with the zombie urge to “spread the love.” Either way, I look forward to seeing where this goes. I admire your continued courage to express what you want, Sarah, and I wish you luck. May your own fans continue to spread the love … and continue to ask for it. 🙂

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About matthewkirshenblatt

I am a writer and blogger living in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario in Canada. When I'm not writing for the Sequart Research & Literacy Organization and GeekPr0n, I tend to write science-fiction, epic fantasy, horror, literary and mythological revisionisms, and generally weird fiction stories though I have been known to make poetry, television and comic book scripts. Also, when left to my own devices I tend to write weird and strange hybrid creative opinion piece articles like those you will find on this Blog. I am also very interested in comics, video games, Star Wars, table-top role-playing games, Neil Gaiman's works, H.P. Lovecraft, vampires, zombies, and budgies.
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3 Responses to The Art of Asking, Spreading the Love, and Sarah’s Walking Dead One of a Kind

  1. Pingback: Spreading Love, Good Vibes & Positivity My Way: A Post for Me | sarah on the go!

  2. ” I also tend to fall back on the mindset that most people are self-interested and will only help if they see that they can get something out it for themselves.”

    That’s very true, but there are people out there who realize the value of just helping out even if it’s a little inconvient on their end to do so. Sometimes its just the cliche of generating ‘good karma’, banking some good will from the powers that be to give the dice a little spin in your favor when you need it.

    But there’s also the idea of building connections and relationships because very few people ‘make it’ in a field of endavour completely alone and with no breaks or favors afforded to them from others. You literally never know what ‘getting in’ with someone and investing a little time and effort will net you — they may not be able to help you in return directly, but they may know someone or have access to something down the line, and sometimes all it takes is that *one* door to open just a crack so you can get a toehold in.

    I’ve worked in a relatively small field — comics — and it’s been my experience that the savvy people have taken the time to help out and been at least somewhat rewarded for it, and the more selfish ones withered on the vine. Networking is just as important — perhaps even more so — than raw talent and experience.

    I feel much the same way as you about asking for help, but at the same time, it never hurts. All anyone can say is no, and if they see it as some kind of an affront that you did, then . . . honestly, they’re probably not going to make it too far, in any case, and it’s best to just let them to their ways.

    • You see, what you wrote here is more or less. I tend to think of people helping others as enlightened self-interest. You want to help people succeed but you also want something in return: be it good karma, good will, building connections and relationships, and even the knowledge of potentially contributing to something good are traits that I can see under that designation. Maybe they even see something like them and want to be that person that they may or may not have had when they were first starting out or wanted something. It’s not wholeheartedly selfless: you do want something from it, but hopefully it is reciprocal. I can definitely see someone who is purely selfish or who attempts to create a skewed kind of reciprocity ultimately stagnating for such in the end.

      And it never hurts to ask for help and it definitely makes you see who someone is when you do.

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