In my post last Monday, I talked about how excited I was to discover that the writing world is not as cutthroat as I had once believed and how it has helped me on my writing journey to gain support and encouragement from fellow writers.
But in order to gain that support and encouragement, you have to step out of your comfort zone. You have to reach beyond your desk and your computer and immerse yourself in the writing world.
I know. It can be a scary thing. We put our thoughts, our reputations, our very selves out there—it’s not easy, and no one else can do it for you.
But it’s totally and completely worth it.
Today I want to give a few suggestions on ways to connect with other writers:
Visit other blogs.
Sure it’s great to have your own blog; in fact, I think it’s necessary to help you to hone your writing style and voice and to discover what it’s like to stick to deadlines. But it’s also important to read other people’s blogs. Because chances are, people won’t just “happen upon” your blog. So if you want to really get connected, don’t just sit there waiting for people to come read your blog. Go read their blogs and start building relationships by commenting.
Reading others’ blogs will also help you to understand what’s going on in the industry. It’s also great to gain advice from industry professionals at all points in the publication journey; from unpublished, to agented, to published authors, there’s something to learn from everyone.
Email other writers to make a more personal connection.
Once you’ve found authors whose blog you like, email them to make a more personal connection. I love it when bloggers reply to my comments, but it’s even cooler to get an email reply and build a real relationship this way.
Support your fellow writers through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
One of the coolest things I’ve seen from the writing community is writers’ willingness to promote each other’s blogs and published work. I am constantly seeing tweets and Facebook “shares” from writers promoting others’ work, and I love to get in on the action. In your face-to-face relationships it is important to cheer each other on—nothing’s different about relationships with those you’ve met online.
Attend conferences and participate in writing groups.
I know that forming online relationships can still seem somewhat “distant” when you haven’t met someone face to face. So one great thing to do is attend a conference and establish those face-to-face relationships (which you can then continue online if you don’t live nearby). Joining local writing groups also provides a great level of accountability as you slog your way through your WIP.
Your Turn: Any other suggestions for how to immerse yourself in the writing world and build a network of relationships with other writers?
*Photo courtesy of jannoon028