Roadside Assistance!

One day while heading out to a meeting the “Service Engine Soon” warning came on my dashboard. I ignored it thinking I would check on it later. But five blocks there was a loud bang and the car came to a stop. I guess the light should have said, “Service Engine Immediately!”

Hi, Bob Sands here with you on day four of The Writer’s Life.

Have you ever had a mechanical breakdown? If you have roadside assistance, great. If you don’t, it can leave you with a feeling of helplessness as you try to figure out what to do next, sometimes even desperately.

Fortunately, that day I had roadside assistance and help was on the way.

You have likely felt stuck or “broken down by the side of the road” at some point during your “writer's life”. Maybe you're having issues landing your first client. Or you're struggling to pick a niche.

When we get stuck we need places to go for help, kind of like roadside assistance. Here are steps you can take.

First, reach out to other writers who are farther down the road than you are.

When I talk to aspiring freelancers at Bootcamp I ask them, “Have you met (I will give them a name of someone well known within the AWAI family) yet?” Their response usually is, “Oh no, I could never approach them, I wouldn’t know what to say.” Can I tell you a secret? They put their socks and shoes on just like you! I don’t know one who isn’t willing to take a moment to talk with you. You just have to reach out. I established a relationship with one of these key people by asking him to lunch. I consider him a mentor and a friend now.

Second, find a copy buddy.

I have several. For one, we have a monthly meeting in person. The other is conducted by phone. We talk about issues facing our various businesses, ask questions of one another and share ideas. If you can’t find copy buddy take a look at how to form a mastermind group. AWAI member Michele Peterson has a great article about it. You can read it here in her article “Your Copywriting Village.”

Finally, be a mentor yourself.

Be willing to be that roadside assistance for another writer. Why? It gives you the opportunity to give back. You tap into that universal principle that says, “What you put out comes back.” And it helps you too. Being a “teacher” is a great way to master any subject.

We all need to get roadside assistance, and we all need to be willing to pick someone up along the way that might feel stranded. When you do, you will be better for it.

Want to make your “writer’s life” journey the best possible trip? Join me tomorrow for the last installment in my Street Smart Strategies series.

Where do you seek help when you need it? Let’s discuss in the comment section below.

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Published: June 27, 2013

5 Responses to “Roadside Assistance!”

  1. Hi Bob, Great ideas & resources! Are there any for web researchers like me? I don't know any other researchers for mentoring or the buddy system. Thanks!

    Guest (Dawn)

  2. Bob,

    I love this term, Road Side Assistance as it applies to Copywriting...
    The support group we have here through AWAI is really an amazing form of emotional /psychic Road Side Assistance!


    Guest (Leslie Ehrin)

  3. My engine warning light glows constantly -- yes, non-stop! But what, me worry? I used to fret and spent oodles on getting it fixed so I could avoid what happened to you -- until I met an expert mechanic who ran a local garage and informed me of the "Check Engine scam!"

    Yes, it's a scam.

    Here's how it works: Unless there's a serious mechanical problem you're already aware of, the engine light flashes because of a delicate change of pressure controlled by the gas cap after you fill the tank. Except on the newest cars, many drivers can't prevent it.

    And if it's flashing when you're getting your car inspected, you fail the test! No sticker for you, mister!

    So to pass inspection you pay typically about $80 to get a replacement of something or get it "repaired." It's apparently a simple adjustment, but (surprise! I was shocked!) it's the rare mechanic who informs the client. That's because the car dealers and auto repair associations lobbied hard for stri

    Richard Lacey

  4. Hello Dawn, just wondering how long have you been a web researcher and how is that going? Did you take any AWAI courses?


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