When I started learning more about economics, I ended up adding some economic blogs into my feed reader. One of them was The Enlightened Economics, by Diane Coyle. She mainly does book reviews, and a lot of her posts were very interesting to me. But I am new to the subject, and I wanted recommendations so I could have a starting point of interesting books, particularly related to economics and philosophy. They don’t teach that sort of thing very often in undergraduate classes.
So I wrote an email and I asked.
I could have talked myself out of doing that very easily, because I am a lowly undergraduate and she is a busy professional. Sometimes I get scared to actually write something that I know someone else will read and respond to. But I did it anyway.
She answered. And then there was a Twitter post (I don’t really do Twitter, but there were 58 comments on it, and retweets as well). And a blog post, with comments on the blog post, and a fairly long list of around 50 books at the end of it. I will probably never read all the books on that list, but I will read some (they are on request from my school’s library).
Not only am I grateful for that list, but it is also helpful for other people who are interested in the same thing. They exist. I haven’t met those other people yet, but maybe one day I will.
I am really glad I asked. So many times we talk ourselves out of asking the questions and sticking ourselves out there. Even if people are somewhat famous and successful, they still often will help others, and do it gladly.
It’s good to just apply. Send an email. Call someone. I have had plenty of rejection and some embarrassment, but sometimes it works out really well.