Everybody is talking about networks. Work networks. Social networks. Blogging networks It seems you can put just about any word in front of “networks” and you’re off to the races. Interestingly enough, we all pretty much agree that networking is a good thing.
Swell. How about a writer‘s network?
Yeah. That’s the ticket. But, what would it be? What would it be for? …and how, oh how, would you go about building such a thing?
First lets list some of the values of belonging to a network of writers:
- First, and foremost, a lonely craft gets less lonely.
- You can bounce ideas off one another; thinking out loud works very well for some people. Perhaps even you.
- You can learn the mistakes others have made and how to avoid them.
- Likewise you can share your mistakes.
- You can share resources. Each of us have our own little pocket full of resources, whether they be the next cool software package, or a winning formula for a query letter.
- You can shore up a friend when they are dismayed, blocked, or “blahh’d”. Or they can do the same for you.
- You can count on each other for an honest, unbiased review of work. (That in itself is worth the price of admission)
- Oh, and there is NO price of admission.
Not bad. Probably not every good reason for having a writer’s network, but that’s what you readers are here for. To find more reasons, and to post them as comments.
Fine. We see some value in having a writer’s network. How in the world do we go about getting one.
Big smile, here. Chances are, you already have a network of writers, and you just haven’t called it for what it is.
Contacting the writers you’ve met on blogs, or in writing club meetings, or in on-line writers sites, and making the distinction that your network exists, and that you offer your assistance to the members of it, and in exchange you expect the same of them.
If you’re really into it, you can even get together on SKYPE once a week or month. You make it happen the way it works best for you.
Oh, come on. It can’t really be that easy. Can it? It can. It is.
Don’t get me wrong, it won’t be all ice cream and roses. Things can, and usually will, go wrong. Some people will work better with others, personalities can clash, but even an occasional clash of titans can be a producer of energy and grist for the writing mill. It is up to you how you go about it, what your goals might be, but I would say this:
The writers you get to know now will not all—or always—be amateurs. They will grow, as will you. And you will have known them back in the day… and they will say that about you, as well.