Networking. Yes. It’s Worth Your Time.

Over the past year, I’ve had more than a few aspiring writers ask me if the time I spend online is worth it. They wonder if I really need another writer friend in the same boat I am. If I really need to join another forum. If critique partners should be as numerous as a football team. I said Yes.

Knowing other writers, aspiring or otherwise, is a benefit to you.

Other writers know things. They can help you. They can offer advice from experience, point you in the direction of solid sources for answers to your questions.

We writers, if we’ve been brave enough to put our words out there in any capacity-ever- have been beat the heck down, more than once and with indifference from the beater. You need friends who know that hurt. They can direct you to your feet and help edit the hate mail you will want to send in response, then they will talk you out of sending it.

Writers are more than advice givers, knowledge holders and resources. They are encouragers and comrades. They will cheer for you and when your time comes, they will heft you onto their shoulders willingly and with joy.

Case in point: My debut novella BLOOM is scheduled to release late in January. I put a call out to my writer friends. Writers blog and blog hops are all the rage with us bookish types. Within 48 hours I had successfully contacted and scheduled a guest spot for my book promotion at a different blog for every Monday through Friday in February. (Now I have a whole lot of guest blog posts to write!) I guarantee you the process would have taken much longer or failed completely if I hadn’t taken the time to make all these amazing connections with writers. More important than the blog hop, I would have quit trying long ago if it weren’t for the online community of writing warriors. They gave me tips, pointed me in the right direction, rubbed my back, and kept me going.

Is it really worth the time to get to know other writers online?

I couldn’t imagine my life without them.

5 comments to Networking. Yes. It’s Worth Your Time.

  • I completely agree with you! Not only have I had a ton of fun making new author friends, but the support is so wonderful. The support is extremely encouraging! I’ve only been on twitter since July I think and that is 98% pretty much how I have connected with new authors! I was wondering how long you have been on twitter with 20k followers! wow :) .

  • So so so true, Julie! I’ve learned a phenomenal amount about writing just from listening and living vicariously through others. And when my book was published, I turned to them to help me spread the word.

    Plus, it’s just so nice to have friends out there who understand … what a crazy existence this author life is!

  • J

    As a writer, I can definitely attest to how true this is. It’s like a new spirit of motivation came out after reaching out to other authors.

    It always great to know that there are other people that have been through the same things–and are not just knowledgeable about writing, but everything!

  • Julie, thank you for sharing this. I’ve been asking myself if I should be spending time networking at this point. Since I’m still in an editing phase, I’m not ready to “promote,” but I really do want to connect with other writers. So, I DO try to earmark a little time every day to plug in and learn what’s up in the online universe. Hopefully, as I go along, I’ll have more value to add. For now, I’m just appreciative to all the other writers (and authors/editors/agents) out there sharing experiences and good advice. :)

    Thank YOU!

  • Aww Julie, I feel the same. My life would be boring without your emails and tweets to follow. Thank you for being an awesome writer bestie! I know I need to network more, too. You have inspired me.

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