Networking is one of the best ways to boost your writing career. However, the idea of reaching out, making connections, and interacting with others causes many introverted writers to break out in a cold sweat. Thankfully, the experts at Writer’s Relief know there are ways for writers to network, whether they enjoy going out and socializing or prefer to stay at home. Here’s how to network even when you’re an introverted writer.
How To Network When You’re An Introverted Writer
Networking doesn’t necessarily mean working the room, talking face-to-face with lots of people you don’t know, or being assertive. It can also mean engaging with communities that support you and making friends with writers who have similar interests—all of which can be done right from home!
Join social media. Interacting online can be easier than meeting people in person, especially if you use the right social media platforms. You can schmooze from the comfort of your favorite chair, and you don’t have to do all the “talking”—you can share posts from other writers and support their work. Once you’ve garnered some followers, your new online friends will help spread the word about your latest projects and offer congratulations when you post about your newest publication.
Following literary journals, agents, and publishers on social media will also give you the inside track on any new releases, reading date changes, and more. This information can reveal publication resources you hadn’t previously considered and help you submit your work more effectively.
Interact online. Besides engaging on social media platforms, you can also interact directly with a literary journal or another writer via their blogs. Leave comments on their pages and share article links with your friends and followers.
Help other writers. By offering other writers your assistance, you can support them while also forging new connections for yourself and your writing. Bonus benefit: Critiquing the work of other writers can also improve your own writing and provide unique insights and inspiration for your own projects.
Offer freebies. Giving readers a sneak peek at your work can help you gain new followers and will keep your existing fans engaged. This teaser can be a paragraph posted online, a pre-release of the first few chapters of your book, or a poem or short story you post online. A word of caution: If you plan to submit a short story or poem to literary journals, do NOT post it online first—the work will be considered previously published.
Have an author website. If a reader, agent, or editor wants to know more about you, the first thing they’ll do is conduct an online search—what will they find? This is why having an author website is important: It acts as your online information hub. Be sure to include a link to your website in your author bio for any publications in literary journals and feature it on your handouts and business cards. Linking your author website to your social media accounts will also help you cross-promote and draw more visitors to your site.
Consider blogging and vlogging. Sharing your know-how online is a great way to display your expertise and connect with other writers. Not sure what to write about? Your blog can include details about your writing, including your process, any works-in-progress, and resources or tips you want to share. But you can also talk about your take on the latest book by a famous author or the new series everyone’s binge-watching (no spoilers!). Once you’re comfortable blogging, you can take it up a notch and create vlogs (video logs) about the topics covered in your blog articles—all from the comfort of your living room!
Venture Out Into The World
Join writing groups and attend writer events. Joining a writing group or attending an event may seem outside your comfort zone, but it doesn’t have to be. Choose a writing conference that features sessions you’ll find interesting. For example, don’t attend a big, national conference about book publishing if you’re interested in poetry. And remember, many of the other attendees will be introverted writers too! If you want to start out smaller, build your confidence by joining a writing group or book club.
Carry business cards. If you have trouble tooting your own horn in person, a business card is a great way to provide information while networking. It’s also convenient for anyone you meet while networking at a writing event: Your business card will feature all the information anyone needs to contact you.
Networking can help you grow your writing career, from improving your skills to connecting you to more publishing opportunities. Take small steps and remember, you can network right from your laptop at home or at the writing club in your local library—whichever feels right for you!
For some introverted writers, even the idea of making submissions can seem daunting. Thankfully, the very supportive experts at Writer’s Relief are here to help! Our researchers will pinpoint the very best markets for your writing to boost your odds of getting published. Learn more about our services and submit your writing to our Review Board today!
Question: How do you network within the writing community?