Who needs help? Certainly not me!

Gerri's Book

Gerri's Book

You should know better.

You can only depend on yourself

Self sufficiency is good.


Did you get those messages growing up too? I really learned how off kilter they are when I wrote my first book, “Trust God and Buy Broccoli, a Spiritual Approach to Weight Loss.” After I finished the rough manuscript, I went through it, finding errors and fixing them. I ran spell check.

Then I went through it a second time, changed some sentence structure, added a few paragraphs, an additional chapter. There were probably a half dozen more re-writes.

Then I asked a good friend, who’s excellent grammar and sentence structure I admired. More re-writes. I asked two more friends and more re-writes. Finally my baby went to the publisher. Can you imagine the bruises on my first class ego when she suggested that I hire a professional editor? Geeze! More money! Luckily I knew of a professional editor and we agreed upon a price. More revisions. And we finally went to print. Boy was I ever proud of my baby.

A blind friend asked if it would be coming out in Braille? I hadn’t planned on that. I trustingly sent her my manuscript in Word, which her computer could read. I couldn’t wait to hear her kudos on my wonderful book. Instead, her first email informed me that there were many errors, incuding the first page which said my book was wrritten by Gerri Helms. I was mortified. How come nobody caught that? Geeze!

One of my first sales questioned the ingredients on one of the recipes. I checked and found that the measure on two of the ingredients was reversed! Horrors! I tried the recipe with the error, and while it worked, it was not terrific.

I talked with my editor and she said to wait six months and we’d check again for errors and do a reprint. In the meantime, I printed some labels and fixed the recipe on any copies I sold. And when I signed the books, I wrote my name right over the top of the misspelled wrritten.

I proofed the book again and found a total of NINE errors to be fixed for the next printing. Can you imagine, with all the help I sought, both friends and professionals, my book was not ‘perfect.’ I would be willing to be that you could go through it and find more errors today.

When my second publication came out (contributing author to The ART of Grandparenting), Editor and Publisher Valerie Connelly made a few suggestions which really made the story even better. Many have said that my chapter is the funniest in the book! While it would have been ‘okay’ on it’s own, Valerie’s help made it fantastic!

I am not an island. While I have great talents, when I combine them with expertise of others, my end result is better.

 So, consider this. Do you ask for help? Perhaps your single efforts are reaping great returns but how much better could it be with additional input? Could a fresh perspective be all you need to rocket your business/personal goal to an entirely new dimension?

Posted on: January 30, 2010
Categories: Blog Posts