Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Networking For Writers

Valerie J. Steimle

I am home from my travels around the country.  I was blessed to be able to drive to Kaysville, Utah (near Salt Lake City) visit my brother, sister-in-law and father and my niece.  We went to Temple Square to see all the visitor centers and Tabernacle which was beautiful.  Then I drove to Rexburg, Idaho to drop off my daughter at BYU-Idaho and spend the day helping her get settled in and visit my Alma Marta from 1979 on my birthday.  Boy --has it changed a lot.

All that took four days. Then  I drove south to Provo, Utah to visit with my sister-in-law and then drove on to Phoenix, Arizona to spend the weekend with my oldest--Sarah and her husband and three children.  What a great trip it was.  I met a lot of people and listened to President Clark from BYU-I speak about parenting a college student.  I went horse back riding, milked a goat and then made goats milk cheese.  I even had the opportunity to catch up with some old, old friends from my youth back in New Jersey.  I drove home from Phoenix and now I am recovering from all the sleep deprivation and driving.

One thing I did realize on this marvelous trip was how much we network with each other.  Whether it's through our daily work careers or church or family--we network together and that is one area writers need to work on.

From SunOasisJobs.com
"Oh, the pains writers go through. It's not enough to write until blood spills all over the page. No, then the precious writer must write query letters, market, and, now, this humiliation of "networking."
So, what's the poor, introverted writer to do? After all, most writers are trained to spy on networks, not to participate in them. For writers, "networking" can be a tricky, peculiar problem.
A writer would network for several distinct reasons. One would be if she were shopping a manuscript around. Or if she wanted to increase exposure of a book she had just published. And, naturally, a writer wants to get known to editors and have a chance at writing assignments. It's all very difficult to do without networking.
A writer's network can be made up of editors, agents, fellow writers, experts in areas the writer writes about, people who have interesting tales to tell, people who are inside sources, and so on."

Author L. Michelle Tullier identifies six categories where networking takes place: 
1. One-to-one meetings--Other Writers, Editors, Publishers and Agents
2. Professional groups-- Other Writers, Editors, Publishers and Agents along with professional people in your topic in a group setting. Your Genre topic can also be networked among others who write in the same genre.
3. The Net- Social Networks, Newspaper and book websites, and blogs
4. Education and training- Writer Conferences, Writer's classes
5. Social/ recreational/community Settings 
6. and, lastly, what she refers to as Serendipity: Whatever blessings we receive from others in the right place at right time.

So networking is a necessary venture for all authors and can be used in small bits or very large ones. Either way it is a great way to spread your writing. You decide.

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