Great writers connect with other writers. Because before they were great, they were mediocre. They had to meet someone who inspired them, someone they aspired to be.
Many creative people underestimate the power of networking. They think of it in the slick businessman sense, but it's much deeper than that. True networking is simply connecting with people.
In your journey to become a great writer, there are three relationships you'll need:
Each offers something unique, something you can do on your own.
There's nothing fancy to this.
You've got peers, people who are in the trenches with you. Find those who are pursuing your same craft, those of like mind, and get together with them.
Buy a fellow writer coffee or lunch. Hang out, commiserate, enjoy each other's company. These relationships should be mutually beneficial.
Everybody wants fans. At least you think you do. But how we go about getting them is more difficult than we often realize.
So how's it done? In a sentence, help people. Take something that is obvious to you (but not to others) and generously share it with the world. Do this over and over again in different ways until you find one that resonates with people.
If you haven't already found it, knowing your voice is pretty important to this. Take some time to figure out why people would listen to you, and then say what you have to say. Say it boldly, and the fans will come.
This is the hardest part. It's also the most important relationship you could make in your journey to becoming a great writer.
These people — leaders and influencers in your industry — will help you grow your platform and get your message heard. So how do you get their attention?
You have to earn it:
- By demonstrating your competencies.
- By serving someone else first.
- By making a big ask.
Find a potential fan, friend, and patron (one of each) and reach out to them. Today. Don't ask for anything but this person's time. Don't say no for them or apologize. Just ask.
Make it an invitation to coffee (if a local connection) or to Skype. Do it and do it now before you lose your nerve.
Then tell us how it went.