Networking – The Highs and Lows
Let’s take a peek at the cogs inside the machine and talk about why I write and how I write on Behind the Scenes Sunday! Today I’d like to talk about what is simultaneously one of my most dreaded and favorite parts of being a professional author – networking with my fellow writers.
Part of growing in any profession is putting yourself out there as a resource to others and finding others who are willing to help you in your own journey towards success. Being a writer is no different. It’s important to nurture connections between yourself and people who are at the same point as you in your author journey as well as reach out to those who have gotten to places you only dream of.
But how do you do this? Especially if you, like myself and 90% of the writers I’ve ever met, are an introvert? Ah, the agony and the ecstasy; the desire to be known but the absolutely mind-numbing terror of being known. What do you do?
First, realize that you are not just ‘taking’ from people. Networking is not (or at least shouldn’t be) about ‘what you can get’ from others. It’s about building real and lasting relationships — friendships, even, if you’re lucky! And part of a relationship is giving as much as you receive. You have things to give – remember that! No matter where you are in your writing journey, you have a valuable perspective and valuable insight to offer.
Second, practice, practice, practice. I promise you, the more you put yourself out there and connect with others, the easier it gets. The less awkward you feel saying hello, the more comfortable you feel writing that follow-up email or Instagram DM or whatever, and the wider and stronger your network will grow. Things won’t always work out in your favor — not every connection will blossom into something special. But when it does, boy will you be glad you made the effort.
Do you have any tips and tricks for networking, either in the writing field or otherwise? Are you looking for a few author friends right now? Let’s start building some connections in the comments, this is the perfect time!
One thought on “Behind the Scenes Sunday”
Thanks for this thoughtful post! I’ve spent years honing my writing skills, but now that I am finding myself needing to network, I find myself feeling like quite a noob all over again. I want to get beyond that reflexive belief that my networking with people is just another way of being a taker…I really like your reframing of networking as a reciprocal relationship.