Connect with Your Fellow Writer

In Uncategorized on December 13, 2009 at 7:06 pm

As a writer I’ve placed a high priority on networking and socializing with other writers.  I thought it was high time I’d shared with my cherished readers why this is such an important factor in your career.  How could I have let this go unnoticed and un-blogged-about for so long?

Fellow writers can serve a mentors, support systems, and motivation.  You can share feedback on each other’s work, ask about their successes and failures.  Pick up jobs when their workload is too heavy, share blog appearances, etc.  One good example of a writer I met and how the time I took to reach out paid off is here.

Here are some more specific examples of how writing relationships can benefit you:

  • Mentors.  As a beginning writer mentors can be hard to come by.  Most established writers have huge workloads and otherwise are unable or uninterested in taking the time to review your work.  But if you do meet someone who’s willing to take the time to give you some pointers, hold on tight with both hands!  Take advantage of having someone to look at your work critically.  Ask that they look over pieces before you submit them.  Pick their brains about the best publications for beginners.  And last but not least be respectful of their time, and don’t forget that they are doing you a favor.  Offer to take him/her out for lunch from time to time, send cards or gifts on holidays and birthdays, make sure he/she knows that their time is appreciated.
  • Support Systems.  Fellow writers can be invaluable to you.  When you’re feeling discouraged they’ll be able to relate.  If you need someone to hold you accountable they’ll know what you should be doing.  When you need a cheering squad they’ll know exactly how hard you’ve worked and what you were up against.  If you have writer friends, don’t take these relationships for granted.  Suggest feedback sessions, you can look over each other’s work.  Trade clips and tips when you are successful with a particular publication.    You can trade blog posts and hand off assignments when your work load is too heavy.  But most importantly, don’t focus so much on what the other person can do for you that you forget to consider what you can do for your friend.  No one likes a one-sided relationship.
  •   Advice.  In most cases, even if you are not friends or do not have a mentor/mentee relationship a writer will be willing to give an interview or answer a few quick questions.  So take a risk and shoot some e-mails to a couple local writers, or some of your favorites.  The worst that can happen is say no.  And in the event that they ay yes you’ll have a great opportunity to pick their brains regarding their writing success.  Ask then how they broke into freelancing, their favorite writing resources, their favorite pearls of wisdom, etc.
  • Working Relationships.  In some cases you may come across writers looking for someone to co-author a blog, or a book.  This can be a great opportunity to build a larger audience by sharing the burden of promoting.  But beware of who you create lasting ties with.  Make sure you read their work beforehand and are certain that they can in fact write well and would be a positive reflection on you.  And it would be a good idea not to rush into a project until you’re fairly certain that they’re not crazy.
  • Authors…you will need someone to review your books and platforms to promote your books.  So building relationships with writers is essential.  The reverse is also true, if you write book reviews yu will need to reach out to authors.

Of course if you know of more ways that networking can help, let me know.  I’d love to include it.

So what are you waiting for?  Go mingle.

  1. Great post! I go through times when I wonder why I write, but I know deep down that it’s a love and a passion and so I keep doing it. Networking is so very important and many times it’s those relationships that keep us going and bolster us when we are doubting our abilities.

  2. Terrific post and spot on! I’ve found myself surrounded by such inspiring writers (especially women!!) and knowing how to network and support them has been instrumental in forming wonderful new friendships as well as developing my own writing. Just today someone posted a blog/poetry prompt that she says was born out of a post of mine that she found inspiring. There is truly no better compliment than receiving great feedback from a fellow writer!

  3. Where do you recommend mingling? Do you recommend any online communities? What has worked for you in the past?

    Stopping by from SITS!

  4. …found you through SITs.

    Good reminders for newbies.

  5. Hi there. I saw your blog on SITS and decided to stop by to say, “hello”. I too enjoy writing and spend time networking with other writers. It is nice to “meet” you. I’ll be sure to add your site to my “follow” list. Best wishes in 2010.

    Kindest regards,

  6. It takes so much time to social network but it is more valuable than I ever imagined.

    Great post. Thank you for reminding me why I am ignoring my family on a Sunday night to mingle.

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