Everybody wants to know how to get ahead in the writing world. Should I have a blog? Get a million twitter followers? Send presents to the editors? The truth is there are only two things that will help you as a writer. The first is to learn to be the very best writer you can be. Go to classes, conferences, and retreats. Learn all you can, revise, rewrite, and create amazing manuscripts. If you have done that, then there is only one more thing to do.
Make some friends!
We need friends who are in our profession and understand why it takes longer than six weeks to get a book published. We need friends who will rejoice when we get a “good” rejection letter. And we definitely need friends who will break open the champagne when we make that sale.
Our writing buddies are also our peer network. Connections you make at conferences can actually lead to jobs in the future.Writing is a business just like accounting, engineering, or real estate. Yes, it is a creative business and we writers are known for hiding in our garrets bleeding onto the paper, but in reality, we need to make connections. We need to network, just like any other business person.
Writers and editors share names of their contacts and refer business to people they know and trust. That writer sitting next to you at the conference may know an editor who is looking for free-lancers. That friend in your critique group may introduce you to the agent of your dreams. If you aren’t a part of the writing community, you are missing out on support, fun, and quite possibly jobs! Make some writing friends. It will help you in ways you never imagined