I promised a blog post on the daunting subject of networking so here we go. I'm hopefully going to show you that it isn't as scary as it sounds...
I know for a fact many writers are the shy, retiring type (like me). We don't want to talk to people. All we want to do is be left alone to write. Our creative space only has room for one!
But, here's a thought - what if you're already talking with fellow writers through Facebook and Twitter? And hey presto, guess what, you're networking.
My first word of advice - don't think of it as networking. Don't think of it as what can I do / what do I have do for this person for them to like me and connect with me. And turning it on its head, don't go into the relationship with the selfish motive of what can I get out of this, either.
Think of it as socialising with friends - meaningful sharing of ideas, sharing books and articles you've read and interesting industry advice. Who wants a shallow, negative relationship anyway?
Seek out the people you admire and invest in them. After all, you get out what you put in. And people will reciprocate. The idea is to surround yourself with those friends who will motivate you and keep you sane on the rocky road of a freelancer.
I love giving something back through my blog. Put yourself out there with your writing and pretty soon you'll be attracting like-minded people. It really is as simple as that - and once again I say Hallelujah to the Twittersphere!
Not only did networking uncover the real world of publishing to me, but it found me my agent, who in turn found me my publisher. I also made some good friends and held some lively debates at the events I attended. This is why it's so important to throw yourself out there every now and then. You never know who you're going to meet and what will happen.
Go on, go for it!
Here is a splash of my favourite networking tips:
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.