June 12, 2002

Networking. I thought it was either what all those little computer cables or really fake ambitious out for blood people did. Now, I know better.

Throughout 2001 I worked alone for several reasons. Working from home alone doesn’t create co-workers – unless you count a fish and cat that are useless when it comes to ideas. I also used to think I didn’t have anything creative or inspiring to offer anyone so I was afraid to ask for help if I couldn’t give it back. As well, I was afraid that if I did try to learn from other people, I’d be seen as trying to achieve something on someone else’s back.

Although I’ve had a good network of people around me, I haven’t tapped into them like I should have. I’ve been afraid of seeming naive, stupid or not worthy. Now that I’ve feel like I’ve proven myself and standing on my own two feet, I’m slowly learning to ask questions, get advice or ask for help. And although I still tend to be nervous about it, I realise it’s something that I need to do.

A few weekends, I had an artist friend come and stay with me who also works home alone. Talking with her I realised that a lot of habits I had weren’t that unique and fears I felt weren’t uncommon. During casual conversations about our jobs I learned tricks for working at home, ideas on how to stay creative and secrets that aren’t so secret. On my own, that information would have taken me months to learn by trial and error. However, thanks to an afternoon conversation, it won’t.

Finding out how someone else works or ticks, or hearing how someone else deals with finances or computer problems has helped me not feel like I’m insane, but instead normal.

I was under the impression that for some reason, I had to go at this alone and if I didn’t, I’d have some how failed or it wouldn’t have meant as much. I know now that without the wisdom and help from others who are in the same position, it would mean even less.

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