Saturday, January 17, 2015

Networking-don't make it hard because it isn't

I used to think networking was some made up word like 'synergy' and I had no idea what the hell people were talking about. Even today if you tell me to network in my day job, I would have no idea how exactly to do that. It might be because I hate my job or because I don't really care to meet new people at work. It's insurance and boring as hell and it pays the bills and that's it.

Networking isn't that big of a deal and it's not that hard. All it is, is making connections with people, that's it. That thing I wrote about Twitter where you thank someone when they tweet you? That's just being polite. When you tweet the person back, that's called networking. Hopefully, it will become a regular thing and you will have formed a connection. Will that single person make a difference to you? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe it's someone they know that will make a difference. It might not be that day, it might be in the future, someone who hasn't even been introduced to them could down the line see a tweet and it could spark something for you.

Then there are the actual connections you can make besides just tweeting,  unless your are so busy you just can't spare three minutes it doesn't hurt to reply and have a  back and forth with someone on Twitter or Faceback who knows what kind of connection can be formed. In this indie thing it's easy to feel alone and fall into the rut of same old, same old day in and day out. Meeting someone online and forming a connection can make you not feel so alone. In tweeting alone I have made connections that have gotten me reviews and an invitation to a Facebook group where several people retweet each other, it's been great being in that group because there are other things that we've done and even just the back and forth has been a great source of support.

The Indie writing group I formed is a form of networking, meeting other writers and talking about writing but we also talk about dozens of other things. Those people are my sanity, my oasis of thank god I'm not alone, I'm not the only one is positive what I've written is shit and should be tossed and we've all talked each other down from the, 'I'm just going to burn it' moment. I didn't think of it as networking when I set it up but that's exactly what it is and it doesn't just help me as a writer it helps me as a person.

I've debated posting this because I hate for people to get the message, 'Hey, everyone you meet will do something for you' because one that might not always be true and two that's a pretty mercenary way of thinking and if you're only going to do it so you can get something out of it then you're doing it for all the wrong reasons and likely won't get anything out of it. Like the people who only follow me because I retweet yet I don't see from their history that they do anything but tweet themselves seven times a day, I'm not going to follow you and retweet you if all you're out is to take. 

For me I've only ever looked at it as being a really great way to meet someone and bonus points if I learn something from them. As far as I'm concerned I'm happy to meet and more than happy to help out another writer because my feeling is if they succeed than I can succeed whether they are in my genre or not. Every time an indie writer makes good it helps all the others by proving that an indie book can be just as good as a book on the shelf at Barnes and Noble and just maybe that will trickle over to me. 

So take some time, say 'hey' and be open to forming a connection. You might make a new friend who can help you not feel so alone or you might even meet a new fan or someone you can become a fan of. The more you form a network the more it gives you stronger ties to your community and it can only ever be a good thing. 

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