Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

Great Writers Connect with Other Writers

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This is Day 9 in the Great Writers series. Make sure you’re following along on Facebook for bonus content and conversation.

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:

  • Friends
  • Fans
  • Patrons

Each offers something unique, something you can do on your own.

Making friends

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.

Finding fans

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.

Earning patrons

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.

The challenge

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.

Special offer: Want a free eBook on networking? Go to YouAreaWriter.com and click one of the share buttons at the bottom of the page. Then leave a comment on today’s post. I’ll pick 15 random winners.

What’s an example of someone you’ve connected with? How did they help you? Share in the comments. And if you’re blogging through the series, share your posts here.

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

It’s Not Too Late to Become a Writer

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  • Jeff,

    I believe this is spot on. People need people. Always a pleasure to read. Now I’m going to sign up!

    Joseph

    • Indeed.  In the song lyrics of Barbra Streisand, “People who need people are the luckiest people in the word.”

      Amen!

      • Laurie

        It is good to reach out to people and look for those “kindred spirits” as Anne used to say in one of my favorite series as a youngster.  Ideally, you will find touchpoints that spark a real connection beyond just some shared surface goals. 

        That is why I am happy to call Michael one of my new connections. He is very focused on helping others (as you can tell with his replies here!), he married his high school sweetheart (as I did), and he just referenced Ms. Streisand–a top favorite of mine whom I consider one of the best female vocalists ever! Wow, the world is a magical place where you can always look forward to finding a new kindred spirit.

  • I used to write in a corner, by myself, never sharing with anyone (yes, that fear again).  My first step was to start sharing online – because I never expected anyone to read me.  I still feel uncomfortable sharing with friends (some of whom are also writers or very good readers), and as for mentors…. Well, I always think authors and instructors on creative writing courses are overwhelmed with people who want to pick their brains or get them to read their work. 
    However, after my first (and only one so far) writers’ conference, I did send an email to one of the workshop leaders, the writer Bret Lott, just thanking him for a very fun and thought-provoking session, which had stimulated my own writing.  I wasn’t doing this with any ulterior motive, not even to flatter him.  And you know what he replied? He said: ‘Thank
    you so much for your kind words — it’s not often I get the pleasure of
    hearing back from people I speak to — most only want to go home and see
    if what I said works.’  Isn’t that rather sad and selfish (of other would-be writers, I mean, not of Bret Lott, of course).

    • Very thought prokoking. Thanks for sharing that!

    • You nailed it Marina. Overcoming the fear and honestly reaching out in gratitude. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    • Very cool Marina.  Way to step up and connect.

    • Do you have a blog, Marina?  I would love to read what you’ve written.  

      As a writer who’s new at networking & marketing, I often find myself being selfish.  I want people to follow my blogs.  I want friends and other writers I admire to share their advice & give me tips on how to better hone my skills.  Thank you for reminding me that it’s not about me.  Sometimes, I just need to be a friend or remember that whoever I’m connecting with has a life outside of writing.

      • Very true, Totally Fiction. 

  • Good Morning everyone.

    I got my writing done so I am able to post before I have to go to work.

    It was hard, but I did it. Late last night I found a local writers group. They meet every other Tuesday evening from 7 to 10 starting this next Tuesday. That means that I get the opportunity to stay up late on Tuesday night and get up early on Wednesday morning!  I’ve RSVPed for the meeting and I’m excited about it.

    On another note, I have a good friend at work who also likes to write. We regularly get together and talk about our writing and a lot of other things. The encouragement that we’ve been able to give to each other has been a great blessing.

    I agree with Jeff. I really encourage everyone to fnd a friend who is a writer!

    Have a fabulous Friday everyone.  

    • ST:  I share your enthusiasm for the writer’s group.  I think you’ll find it a great benefit.

      Fabulous Friday wishes to you too!

    • Way to work ST! (Like Bob said … what is your name?)

      • Hey,
         
        Sorry for my slow reply. When I was creating my blog, my name was taken. So, I used my initials. My name is Stephen.

  • Leila Wilson

    Hello everyone. I thought hard for awhile after reading your challenge today Jeff, then plucked up the courage to give a disabled friend who has published books of poetry a ring. Fortunately, without me taking this any further I was invited over for a chat and a coffee. I was so glad I did. He and his wife have asked me to let them see some of my own work which up to now has just been sitting in the files on my PC. He has given me some of his work to read and told me he will hepl me with any information to guide me along the way to getting published. I have also been encouraged to come over for a chat and coffee as often as I would like to. Thank you for the prod today to step out of my comfort zone which is where I tell myself I just write because I enjoy doing so and at 76 years old I won’t ever get to the point of publishing anything, nor do I need to. Well today I thought to myself…”Why not?” It isn’t about age. Have a good day.

    • Wa-hoo! “Why not” indeed!

      • Leila Wilson

         Wa-hoo…. another Great word Michele LOL. Thank you for stopping by.

    • Tina Barbour

      Yay! I love your attitude!

      • Leila Wilson

         Thank you Tina. Encouraged by your “Yay!” I’ve written that word in bog letters on a card which is now here on my PC table.

    • Way to move it forward Leila.  And your right it isn’t about age at all.  As a matter of fact … age helps.  You have a treasure trove of stuff inside there … And I for one can’t wait to read it.

      Good on you for getting out there!

      • Leila Wilson

         Nicholas, I have read your own posts on here and enjoyed them. I’m thrilled you stopped by to leave me a great comment. I’m a big fan of the fantasy and historical fiction genres but perhaps my own memories  as a primary teacher for many years, wife, mother and now a disabled widow with my own little family of three gorgeous cats is the right place to begin seriously. Thank you so much.

    • Why not, indeed?  I’m looking forward to the day you announce your new book is ready for us to enjoy.

      • Leila Wilson

         Hi Suzanne, my fingers are crossed tightly this might happen.I’ve written a few short stories but a novel is a much bigger project. I’m still at the pondering stage though I am writing autobiographical pieces every day. every day

    • Nancy Slocum

       Leila, you are never too old to pursue your dreams or dust off an old one as long as you have breath in your body.  I just think of all the treasure, wisdom and life experience you have to offer.  Your voice and story is unique so don’t rob others of the blessing.  Go for it!  I admire you for your spunk.

      • Leila Wilson

         WOW! Thank you Nancy for your encouraging words. So many people around me have been telling me it’s too late and why don’t I just enjoy it as a hobby. Then there are the others who think I don’t know they are just humoring me. Well, one day I might just give them all a shock LOL.

    • Katina Vaselopulos

      Leila, this is  wonderful!  Congratulations for taking the first step toward going public! Jeff is really making us come out of our writing corners, ourselves as well. It is great for us as well as for those who will benefit from what we have to share. Having lived most years of our lives (I am 67 years old), we have learned a lot and aquired a kind of wisdom that only Life offers. I too have been writing for years never thinking to do anything with it. When I first dared share something with friends, they cried from joy. Now my manuscript is in the editor’s hands, andI have a contract to publish. My best to you! God help us both, especially with all the technical aspect of publising which I find tidious!

  • Morning. I’ve had a gut-clenching, soul stirring morning at the computer and then I pop over here.

    **inhale, exhale**

    I sent messages to all three potentials. I’ve done this before but not concerning my writing. I did it once–like a focus group–for my “big” idea or concept. I eagerly anticipate their response but…

    **shrug**

    • Way to go Dana.  Keep pressing in …   

      • Will do. Today seems to be a day for pressing…but I’m in the diamond making process. 😉 Pressure will reveal clarity. I guarantee. 🙂

        • katina Vaselopulos

          Love your metaphor…. Hope you get great results from this challenge!

    • Well done Dana, that is brilliant.  May you get responses beyond your hopes

      •  Thank you! I’m adding my Amen in agreement. 🙂

    •  I am thrilled to report…I have a meeting over tea scheduled with a patron. Double YES!!! Now to bed I go. My alarm rings at 3:30…darn @jeffgoins:disqus … 🙂

  • cushionedasphalt

    Hmmm…. this is a toughie. I am not a people person and I always figured if I ever published anything and people actually enjoyed it and looked forward to more, I would keep myself in the shadows. Pen name and no publicity.

    • I’m with you. This is going to be a tough one for me too.

  • lishdizon

    “They had to meet someone who inspired them, someone they aspired to be.” — for me, you’re one of those people, Jeff.

  • Can I just stay holed away with my laptop and keep writing? “Making connections” is not my strong point.

    I’ve already done the friend part. I have a friend I met online who I bounce ideas off of. We send each other things for feedback, and it’s been a big help. It’s good to get a fresh eye on things, and even some encouragement.

    I’m stuck on the fan and patron though. I have a few faithful readers of my blog, who I suppose are fans. Patron? I have no idea. I’m going to have to give this a little thought.

    • Who’s your hero?   I guarantee a name or two comes to mind … contact them.  Don’t wait or you’ll start coming up with easier names to contact.

      The Patron should be hard.  You got this!  Just make sure you do it today … 😉

      • Thanks Nicholas! I almost put it off until tomorrow cause I had a really long day, but I followed through and did it. Both patron AND fan.

  • Lies. Lies. And more damn lies. That’s all I hear when I keep to myself. Never thinking I’m *good enough*. But I’ve become a better writer–with strong(er) confidence–by stepping out and engaging in a community. Sharing online and developing a network has truly made all the difference! 

  • Six months ago I stepped out of my comfort zone and connected with an old friend through Facebook.  Hadn’t talked to him in 18 years.  Today,  we meet bi-weekly with other writers to encourage each other’s craft and to keep one another accountable.  Through that connection and the resulting progress I have connected with fans.  Only a handful, but they are growing.  I have yet to connect with patrons, though I know I will.
    Perhaps that hardest thing about writing is staying true to your own voice while trying to gain an audience.  My writer friends and I discuss this much: the importance of honesty in art.  So, while we all want to connect with somebody, let it never come at the expense of our honesty.  To follow the advice of my good friend, let us not market, but communicate.

    • Ryan – AWESOME advice.  Thanks for sharing this.

    • katina Vaselopulos

      Ryan, this is beautiful!
      …Communicate and serve!  This is what I have learned.

    • Absolutely awesome. What a great thing to happen after deciding to step out of your comfort zone.

  • THIS is the hard one Jeff. Now I must really take steps to force myself outta my secret shy shell. I have been looking at a few online critique groups. Hmmmm. I need some writing friends!

    • Your talking to ’em!  You got this Sherri!  Just hit “send” … even if its ugly.

    • Would you like to be writing friends, Sheri?

      • SURE! I would welcome connecting with a fellow writer.

  • Holy Toledo! Asking works. . . Warning . . . Warning . . . Once you decide who to ask for coffee practice actually saying what you will say after they say “okay.” My jaw dropping, blank stare, long pause before stumbling over words, and then giggling probably didn’t convey competence.

  • Thanks Jeff.

    For me this is the hardest part. This is the step I have not made. Writing is a solitary pursuit. So, I vacillate between seeing everybody else’s work as so much better than mine, and seeing my work as shear genius in the rough.

    Yea, This is a tough one.

    On the other hand, if anybody else is having trouble reaching out. I’m here. Anyone in our group has my full permission to post on my blog. Just contact me. Take that first step.

    • Thanks for the honesty Bob.  My take on vacillating (speaking for myself here) is that its a form of “failing slowly”.   

      One thing I’ve learned in these first 9 days (one of many things) is … “do it now” and “fail fast”.

      Each time I hit send I’m no longer thinking about someone else’s writing being  better than mine … or that my writing is “way more awesomer” than someone elses.  

      No … I’m just hitting the send button and moving to the next “build”.  

      There are too many people that I want to get my message to … so I’m no longer waiting.  And it gets easier every time I hit send … even when I its ugly.

      Keep up the work …  there’s a whole world of people waiting to hear from you….

      Cheers!

      •  Nicholas, you are awesome! You are writing some really good stuff.

    • katina Vaselopulos

      Bob, I know exactly  what you are saying!  I wrote my book without showing it to anyone…Just beginning to open up and it feels good.  I do not have a site yet, but I am guest posting soon on one of my friends’ site. I would love to post on your blog! It will be an honor!  My e-mail is : katiakantzia@msn.com  If you are still interested, let me know, and we’ll take it from there. 
      By the way, my book is about journeys, specifically this one  year in my life and how nurturing body and soul changed things for me. By publishig this book, I aspire to inspire others to transform the negatives of life into positive experiences. Looking forward to hearing from you! Feel free to connect with me at any time!
       

      •  Thanks Katina! If you’re still interested, just leave me a note on my blog.

        • Katina Vaselopulos

          Bob, Just can’t believe it! Your posts could have been taken out of my manuscript! I love everything I read … the topics you have chosen and how through small things you send out big messages that could inspire people to let God permeate every layer and every aspect of life.  Love your writing style, the poems, the photographs, your reference to journeys and destinations.

          This is how I begin my book…with Ithaca, a meaningful poem by the Greek poet Kavafis. What this poem is all about is that destinations and goals are important because they set us off…sailing, but what is really important is the journey itself – the dragons  we encounter, the challenges we overcome, the experience we aquire, the lessons we learn, the joy and pain that we fully live, the beauty  that allow to enter through our eyes into soul.
          Congratulations for you wonderful blog! It would trully be an honor to guest post in it! If you are willing to risk having me I would love doing it.
          God bless!

          •  One of my favourite poems too!  Look forward to reading your posts on your blog.  Good luck with setting all of that up!

            • Katina Vaselopulos

              Maria Sofia, are you Greek? Not  too many people know that poem. Thank you so very much for your wonderful comment.  Having other writers liking what we write is very encouraging, and I really appreciate your comment.  What are you writing about? If you want to share somemething with me, I would love to read it. If you have room for one more email address, just ask and I will give mine to you. 
              I have made arrangements fo a web site, and they have started working on it, but it will not be ready until my book is almost published.
              Patty Apostolides is a Greek American author who writes Greek novels and poems. She just started a Facebook page for Greek authors. Visit her web site…pattyapostolidesgreeknovels.com and Like her greeknovelsfacebook page and you can be part of it, sharing, with other Greek authors.
              Looking forward to know you better!

          •  Katina, can you help me out a bit? I can’t find your blog or any of your writings?

            • Katina Vaselopulos

              I am sorry Bob! I didn’t mean to send you on a wild goose chase! I do not yet have a blog. My website is under …construction but it will not be fuctional until my book is almost published, which should be in 3-4 months.
               Meanwhile, I am guest posting one article on the Footprints of the Mind website, regarding my reflections from my visit to the Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece.  I am sharing the following link, hoping that you will visit this site, read my article, and leave a comment. Feel free to share with your friends. Everyone from this community is welcome!

              https://footprintsofthemind1.blogspot.com/2012/06/global-adventure-and-reflections.html

              Bob, would you like me to send you Kavafi’s poem, Ithaca, and my reflections on it?  This is what I am using in the beginning of my book and follow it with the introduction…all about Journeys. You can read it and, if you like it, you might let me …guest post? My email address is: katiakantzia@msn.com if you want to write. Thank you for looking for …me and my writing!

                 

    • Nancy Slocum

       Hey Bob,
      I enjoyed taking a look at your blog.  I like your writing style and I loved the BIG  images that show just how grand our God is.

  • Hello,
    I thanked a Fan whom always visits my blog and comments on my work. She is also an artist and I’m mailing her a few art supplies. A lot of my fans have become friends and we swap art, ideas, supplies. A few I talk on hte phone with now…then will meet in person.
    I am reading a Friend’s manuscript. She will exchange the offer.
    Patron…author Wade Rouse…connecting with him over email and have sent him an ATC by snail mail. Have chatted with his partner by phone to check out his workshops, etc. I visit his blog regularly to cheer him on and to tell him what I like about his books, plus I buy his books.
    Patron…author/illustrator David Ezra Stein….I contacted him about what drawing paper he uses and casual conversations about sketching in public. I follow his blog. I buy his books.
    Patron… joined SCBWI (Socitey Children’s Books and Writers.) I have wanted to do this since 1990. I posted my illustration portfolio online. I am working on a hardcopy portfolio. Patron…Brian McCullen, Art Director and Senior Editor of McSweeney’s…attended  two conferences with him at Kenyon College. Talked to him after and told him I write and illustrate children’s books. Preparing mss package to send him.
    Patron…Seth Apter…I’m all over his blog….converstions through email now. He has visited my blog now. Who whee!
    I also like the idea of writing little charming letters (include a copy of art) to artists and writers I admire. I like to send sincere energy like that out there. One day it will circle back around to me. “Give what you want to receive.”

  • I’ve been connecting with various writers the last few years, just for solidarity and support. This has strengthened by writing and also led to other connections. Now that I’m actually trying to become published, I am overwhelmed by how many people support my writing and are cheering me on, as well as lending their expertise. I look around me and wonder how I came to have these friends, fans, and patrons. I often feel like I didn’t do anything to deserve these people but when I think about it, I did. I reached out, I met for coffee, I encouraged, I shared. This has played out in so many ways, both locally and on-line. A writing friend came to town last weekend and asked if we could get together. It was so encouraging to talk shop with him and I found out later I made a very short list of people he saw while he was in Nashville. This blew me away! But it proves the importance of being a good friend and fan regardless of what’s in it for you. We never know where these connections will lead us.

  • I think joining a writers group can be beneficial. I joined a local chapter of American Christian Writers, and many of my publication leads have been through this group. I highly recommend it!

    Jeff, I think you’ll like my blog post today. My 8 yr old must have been channeling you – from her spin on the old adage, “Practice makes perfect,” to her final remark, “I’m awesome!”  If you have a chance pop over.

    As we move from amateur to professional writers, we need to realize that “practice makes professional” but never perfect.
    https://www.chattykelly.com/2012/06/practice-makesnot-perfect.html 

    • I like that … “practice makes professional”.  Thanks Kelly … and Jeff!

      (If I keep saying “thanks” to Jeff for everything I’m getting out of this … and from everyone here … he’ll likely think I’m a broken record.”)

      Thanks Jeff!  ~skip~ Thanks Jeff!  ~skip~ Thanks Jeff!  ~skip~ Thanks Jeff!  ~sk …

  • I had JUST gotten done emailing a connection when I came here to read today’s installment. The wavelength is strong, Jeff!

     I don’t know  if the connection will “lead” anywhere, but it’s a good connection with a blogger / writer I’ve admired for a long time. We had a personal email conversation, a step beyond blog comments back and forth.

    It feels good. It feels strong.

    It’s going to be 90+ degrees and swampy humid in southern Minnesota this weekend. I have no harp gigs. Perfect writing weather.

  • Connections are important.  My youngest son (12 years old) and I are members of a writing group that meets at our local library each week.  Hectic schedules have kept us away for awhile, but the group is a great way to share ideas, read our work, etc. 

    I’ve also connected with some folks here in the #15habits community and we are on our way to creating a writing/blogging mastermind group.  Our intention is to help each other, provide constructive criticism, offer advice/tips on blogging, and to inspire and motivate each other.

    Only through the #15habits challenge would this have been possible.  I am so grateful.

    • Ooooh. I need a writing group. Badly.

      • This is a writing Group!  😉  (Yes I did lol when I wrote that.)

        •  Nicholas – You are about the furthest thing from chopped liver.  Really.  If you’re lookin’ for a group, we still have openings.   Silly boy.  : – )

          • I’m in.

            • Great!  Welcome to the club!  Stay tuned for more details.

              • Lisa R

                I’d be interested too.

                •  Super!  Send me a quick email (see my site for contact details) and we’ll make the connection! 

                • Im in too my friend.

        • You are correct. 🙂

      • Rachel – You’re invited to join the group that I’m putting together.  We are only at the very beginning of figuring out the details; but you’re more than welcome to be part of our team.  Send me an email (visit my site for details) if you’re interested.

        • Thank you, Michael.

        • Katina Vaselopulos

          Is this group exclussive or anyone can join? What are the specifications? I see everyone is coming in…I want too!

    • DS

      Fun to read about the excitement 🙂

      • denisedilley

        DS, I just checked out your blog.  LOVE it!

        • DS

          Thanks for checking it out and your gracious comments!

    • I love that you’re forming a #15habits community.  That is awesome!  Also, since you mentioned the writing group that your local library has, I’m going to check to see if my local library has anything like that.  It would be such a good way to make new friends, connect with local writers, and to help each other perfect our skills.

  • Nice post! Great idea about the title being writers content and respond to some
    teasing need that the readers might have. A good title is essential to
    drive traffic to your posts.

  • Speaking of connections:  today my blog is proud to host its very first guest post.  Christine Niles, an active member of the #15habits community, graciously offered to share her story on my site.

    You can find it here:  https://www.themakegoodchoicesproject.org/lost-and-found-choices-consequences-forgiveness/

    Thanks Christine!  You’re awesome!

    • Awesome.  Kudos to both!

    • Cool Michael and Yay Christine!  Anxious to head over and check it out!

    • April Tara

      That’s great Michael and Christine!

    • Nancy Slocum

       Michael, Congratulations on your blog’s first guest post!  It was a wonderful choice.  Christine, you did a great job.  I thoroughly enjoyed your article.  Thanks for being so transparent.

      BTW – I really like the feel of your blog and how positive it is.

      • That’s what I liked about Michael’s site, too!  We need more positive in the world!

    • Thanks, Michael, for being such an amazing host and offering me such a great opportunity.  More thanks to everyone who stopped by and left comments.  Michael is building a great community!

    • Excellent on the collaboration!

  • I got a lot of poems written yesterday, and I compiled a blog post which is up on my blog today.

    Connections? It has been a while, but I’m close enough to B. Mac on Superhero Nation that it should be easy getting a guest post on his blog. All I need to do is to write a superhero-related post when I want to try out guest posting on several blogs at once.

    However, I need to interact with other fellow aspiring authors more on the writer’s forum I’m at.

  • I’ve been learning this all semester! Great stuff! It’s amazing who will respond! https://whatakaracter.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/stay-in-touch-they-said-3-2/

  • Gulp.
    I don’t know why this is so scary for me, but I did it.

    I sent emails to members of my former writers group, several of whom have gone on to be full-time writers and writing educators.  I asked them to support my blog. I told them my goal, and asked if I was speaking clearly enough.  I think they are a source of all three: fans, friends and patrons.

    On most Friday nights, two very famous writers sit at the other end of the bar.  I’m afraid to talk to them.

    I’m going to sit at that end of the bar tonight, and say I’m a writer. And ask about writers groups in my town.

    Results TBA.

    • Yay!  Dawn, that is awesome.  I love your plan for tonight!  You Go!

    • Great job Dawn.  Keep us posted!

      • Thank you, Carole and Nicholas!

        I was willing, but my writers/potential patrons were away this week.  Funny thing is, two other people came out of the woodwork! One is an influential art dealer who professed to like what I’m doing.  He’s thinking about doing a blog himself.  I offered him the opportunity to guest blog to see if he’d like it, and he took it!  I’m very excited about that.  The second is a novelist who is interested in starting a local group with me.

        I will approach the other writers, when I see them next.  But I think it is a wonderful reminder that when we make our intentions clear, good things happen.

        My potential fans & friends rose to the challenge, and although I’m not seeing many comments or such on my blog, yet, I am getting private comments,  “shares” and “likes” on Facebook, and my traffic has gone up on the blog.  All good.

        Now, as for where I fell down: We are moving to a new neighborhood.  A man and his wife were walking down the street and introduced themselves as our neighbors.  I recognized him immediately as an author my husband and I completely adore. I was tongue-tied.  I didn’t even tell him I recognized him or his work. I feel crummy about that.

        I don’t want to be a slathering fool, making someone uncomfortable when I really just want reach out.  But it turns out my new neighborhood is *crawling* with well-known writers.

        I am unknown, so even though I’m a writer, I don’t think of myself as one of them.  How do I bridge this gap, without being a nuisance?

        One of the most important things that Jeff said in this post was about being generous, and offering to help people.  I get this mixed up with asking for help. I don’t like to ask for help.

        I feel more comfortable trading favors.  But with these great authors, what do I have to trade?

        What is a reasonable “big ask” of someone you have yet to form a relationship with?

  • I connected with a fellow blogger a few weeks ago. We shared traffic and strategic ideas. He helped me understand the importance of commenting and sharing others’ work. I created a header image for his blog in return. The conversation is ongoing, and it’s been hugely beneficial for both of us.

  • I am super excited about this. I have actually connected with a fellow writer (and old friend). I am doing a guest post for her. I got a #FF from my writing teacher on Twitter today, which just gave me the biggest smile. I don’t know about the fan, who that might be for me. I suppose I should reach out to one of my few blog followers (thrilled to have any, frankly!)

    PS: I shared You Are A Writer on FB, Twitter and LinkedIn!

    • Awesome!

      BTW: Had to look up what #FF was.  … Just part of the building process 🙂

  • As a couple, Amanda and I are shedding many of the mindsets and tendencies that kept us from being our best. I’m often reluctant to push myself on someone else for fear of rejection or just putting people on a spin cycle of selfish gain – use them for awhile and discard them once their immediate value is done. But writers need audiences and support so finding positive traction without shameless pandering will be key for me.
    That said, I’ll contact a longtime fan today who raves about me to my face every chance she gets and do my best to meet with her in person next week.
    While there are writers in our geographic area, ferreting them out won’t be easy. So, the next best thing is to participate and build up connections we have with other writers through various social media and conference connections. 
    I long to build up face-to-face collaborations and gatherings with other creatives and use a particular place I have in mind for that purpose. I hope that desire comes to pass as we try to develop community with artists of various stripes. I would love to build greater connections with some of the folks I’ve met here and fold them into this collective.
    All that to say I think Jeff is definitely onto something with all of his post, including today’s, and I will take action on today’s post by the end of the day.
    I owe you all two responses to challenges (ugly and steal) and I’ll need to defer those to next week after I finish the hoarding series.
    Here’s the latest installment: https://thepaulsims.posterous.com/confessions-of-a-hoarders-son-part-vi
    If you’d like to connect with me and develop the conversation further off this page, I’d love to start that by connecting on Twitter, which how I log in here. 

    • Hi Paul,

      I live in a mid-size town in the middle of a rural region.  One day I ran across a tiny notice for a writing group meeting at a book store.  When I showed up, the group was one woman.  The founder of the group, she admitted most of her meetings were lonely, as she sat waiting for interested writers to appear.

      After a few months where the monthly meetings were the other woman and myself, I threw myself into promoting our interest in working with other writers in the area. 

      I made a website for the writers’ group (not the site associated with my login), with pages for kudos, resources for writers, etc.  It took a couple of months, but we now have over two dozen people who attend our meetings.  Not all attend every meeting, but they remain connected and interested through the posts on our website. 

      There’s sure to be writers lurking in the shadows, no matter where you live.  Maybe you can build a website for your own writers’ group, no matter if it is just you at the moment, showing the lurkers that there is someone eager to share and to learn with them.

      • I appreciate the encouragement! We live near a major university and I will attend there in the fall as a graduate student. There may be an ongoing collective of folks who aren’t planning to leave town anytime soon (like me) and I’m just not aware of it. Maybe I’ll do a bit more digging. Thanks for the suggestion!

        • Paul – If you’re looking for a local group, you might try Google.  Type in “writers group” + your hometown.  You never know what you mind find.

        • You’re welcome, Paul.  Here’s the link to the writers’ group website I built.  Feel free to steal as many ideas as you like.

          http://www.owensborowritersgroup.com/WordPress

          There is a members-only page that has a list of all the reference books on writing the members of our group own.  We make them available for loan to members.

          And Michael is so right.  Many of our newer members found our website by Googling for local writers.

  • Question …  Can fans be friends and vice versa?  Yes that’s somewhat rhetorical but I was curious on what my friends here thought.

    To be candid, the community here been extremely “friendly.” And I’m looking forward to growing with many of you as we progress through the 15 days and beyond.  

    As it relates to the challenge.  I made two PATRON contacts today.  One is someone I’ve met before … a true heavyweight.  And the other I just found out about yesterday   (a Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author).  

    Either way, both requests for a Skype call were done and shipped!  I followed what Jeff said and did it right then … “before I lost the desire.”
    I also have a plan to reach out to a list of Friends/Fans who would appreciate what I am seeking to do with Economic Life Recovery.  When I craft the request to this list I will share it with YOU (my friends here) as well.  I welcome the feedback, constructive crits, and encouragement.  Be bold today … go for that PATRON contact before you lose the desire!Cheers.

    • Awesome Nicholas.  I would love to talk with you sometime.  Im on Skype as well at benjamindempsey.

    • Nicholas, I think fans can develop into friends over time…and vice versa.  I have become friends with several people that started out following my blog, or where i started commenting on theirs.

      Congrats on your patron contacts!  Let us know how that works out….

  • This has been invaluable to the modest success I’ve had. And there is so much more work to do.

  • Connecting is essential.  As writers we can be so solitary, we need to make the choice to connect with others, and not wait for them to connect with us.

  • I did this yesterday (in complete anticipation of today’s challenge… NOT!) and I was terrified, and sweaty… but it worked!  The end result was a request for my manuscript!

    • denisedilley

      That’s awesome, Carole!

    • Woot!  Good for you Carole! Keep us posted.

  • I love this! Though writing seems like a solitary endeavor, we as writers really do need community. Writing is hard! Connection offers encouragement, support, and perspective.  It’s easier to remain behind the pen, but it’s better to bold and connect with other writers.

    Also, I like your overall concept here of how it’s important to know yourself  in order to find those with whom you relate and connect, yet don’t make community about you but rather serve others first. I couldn’t agree with you more!

    Fantastic advice. Love it!

  • One of the great moments I had this year was having a new housemate moved in who blogged as well. Having someone else around to talk about what new idea we had, sharing ideas how we could make each ones better, stealing each other ideas (I remember Day 6) really helped us both. 

  • Lisa R

    Well, the friend part went really well. I sent a Facebook message to someone from my local writer’s group, and we are getting together when she comes back from her writer’s convention. She has finished her novel and is at an advanced workshop. I cannot wait to hear about her experiences. 

    In my blog entry today, https://writewhatyouknowdotorg.wordpress.com/, I talked about what differences there were between fans and friends as I am sure most that are coming to my blog right now are writers. I had an epiphany on my blog entry yesterday about learning how to give proper feedback, and I’m thinking that may be the thing I can offer right now–listening to others talk about their writing and giving them feedback on it. I know that can help me in the long run.

    Finally, and I guess this is where I am failing right now, :(, I cannot get myself out of the mindset that I’m not worthy enough to contact a patron and ask for these things. As I said in today’s blog entry, I do know people I could contact–just getting up the nerve to do so is overwhelming. So, if you come visit my blog (I know, shamless plug here.), please feel free to give me a kick in the teeth. 🙂

  • Lisa R

    I shared You are a Writer on Facebook.

  • I’m going to reach out to a young author today.  I’ll tell him how much I enjoyed reading his first book and that I hope he is intending to write more.

  • I LOVE connecting with other writers. It inspires me more than anything else. The challenging part is often making different schedules work. (Even with Skype, it is often an issue.) And you don’t want to be the nagging sort either. Any advice there Jeff? Thanks! 

    • Right. You have to make it work for them, not you. Be flexible, offer to meet near where they live/work, and try to plan ahead. It took me months just to get Mike Hyatt to agree to meet with me, and we still had to plan it two months ahead of time. It’s a long game.

  • April Tara

    Between working at home for so long and a couple of traumatic experiences, I’ve developed some social anxiety so I don’t really interact with very many people offline. I tried joining a book club but chickened out before the first meeting. Tried joining some Meetup groups and never went. Couldn’t even handle a support group for survivors.

    Most of my social interactions happen online and some of my online friends are writers – published and unpublished, fiction and non – but I’ve never really talked to them about writing. Actually, it kind of goes back to the Day One exercise about declaring yourself a writer. I think of them as writers but not myself. Well, now that that’s changed, maybe I’ll talk to them about an online writing group, starting one, joining an existing one, something…

    (P.S. I shared YouAreAWriter.com on Twitter.)

  • Hello Again,
    I ordered “The War of Art” and purchased your audi series Jeff. They are terrific. Hey folks you ought to buy this, too.  Look forward to reading the book. Thanks for recommending it.

    • Thanks, Darlene!

    • COMPLETELY agree.  On both counts:  The War of Art is now one of my all-time faves.  And Jeff’s interview is super-good-stuff too.  I have listened to it MANY times — and will listen to it some more. 

    • Agreed. I enjoyed the War of Art. It is becoming a yearly read for me. And, Jeff’s stuff is great.

  • Kim Galgano

    It’s about telling yourself that people are nice (& fearful too)!

    The most fun I’ve had within the crazy world of social media/networking is when I simply asked (scary, but not hard once you do it) several male bloggers I admire to guest post during a series called “Dudes with Decisions.” The experience was so pleasurable because of the connection and friendliness of these “dudes” (who I continue to connect with) that my plan is to make it a bi-yearly experience.

    Thanks for the post today as a reminder! I have some asking on my “to do” list. Today it happens 🙂

  • Finally got the courage to ask a speaker/writer to lunch to pick her brain on how she does it. As a result of our meeting, she asked me if I wanted to apprentice under her. I love the line in the movie “We bought a zoo”  — “Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it.” So true!

  • Sarah Elisabeth

    Sorry I haven’t commented on this series yet, Jeff. Been busy with my dad’s health the past few weeks, but I’ve read all the posts, excellent. The exciting thing for me is to check each one off as things I’ve done or am doing on a daily basis. Great confirmation!

    I thought of your book the other day when I went to a new hair stylist my mom recommended.

    “So, your mom said you want to be a writer.”

    “Well, actually, I AM a writer,” and proceeded to tell her about my projects when she asked.

    Felt kinda awesome.

    BTW, tweeted your book, and made a new connection just yesterday when a local writer emailed me about my monthly column in an area paper. I invited him to our writer’s gathering.

  • I am clueless on even how to start my ask. Finding friends has never been easy and now I have to find fans and patrons? Help!

    • My first go-to is to email someone and see how they respond. Keep it short and sweet.

    • Debra, just smile and ask an honestly interested question to break the ice.

      To your fans:  “I’d love to know what you most enjoy and would like to see more of in my writing?”

      To your patrons:  “You’ve inspired me to try [fill in].  What made you try this in your own writing?”

      You’ll be surprised to find how many fans and patrons find it just as hard to reach out as you do.  They’ll thank you for taking the first step.

      • Thanks for the fan idea. I’ve been thinking on that all day and wondered how to go about the fan “ask.” 

  • Great advice!  I like joining author groups on Facebook etc.  I find seeking like-minded individuals who feel called by God to write to be an incredible resource.  They encourage and pray for one another.  I am blessed to belong to several Christian author groups and it is a double blessing because they also are eager to help with book promotion, launches etc. that helps market our books.

    • Very cool. Any groups you’d recommend?

  • I think networking is essential part of writing. Every writer should make connections with other writers, bloggers and entrepreneurs.  Because real money, value  is in how many connections you have, how many people knows you, not in how much you make each day.. 🙂 

    Awesome post… 

  • The motto of the Florida Writers Association is “writers helping writers,” and I see it in action all the time in our Orlando chapter. Each month, writers who are experienced in some aspect of the writing business share their knowledge with the group. I’ve connected with many people–both during the presentations and over a cup of coffee at a later time–who have generously shared the benefits of their successes and mistakes. Twice now, I’ve had the pleasure of giving the group some of my hard-earned lessons, and several nice business relationships and friendships have developed as a result. Thanks for your wonderful posts. They are spot on.

  • katina Vaselopulos

    Jeff, this is a great post again!
    Have been connecting to writers…through Twitter, FB, Authors Learning Center, and posts.
    I followed two Greek authors in Twitter…they folowed me back… and we are getting closer and closer each day.  Everyone has something to contribute.
    Patty Apostolidis is already an accomplished author and a great teacher who has helped me open up and connect  with writers such as you, Michael Hyatt, and others. I also sent Patty a chapter that I wanted in my book but was unsettled about some things I had written.  She sent me back many comments and suggestions that clarified my whole pespective of it and made a big difference.
    I also asked a friend, actually my friend’s wife who teaches in a university to look at my manuscript and now she is doing the editing. We are getting together for coffee and discuss my book and writing in general.
    Finding a patrons today will be challenging but I will try my best. Thanks again Jeff for everything!

    • Let us know how it goes!

      • Katina Vaselopulos

        The person I wanted to ask to be a patron will not be availabe until Monday.  I’ll ask him them.  For now and ever, how about you Jeff? You teach me, you inspire me, you know my limitations and have enough patience not to give up on m! Can we be friends even when the 15 challenges have been taken?

        • mayyyybe. 😉

          • Katina Vaselopulos

            That is good enough for now! Thanks!  🙂

  • JamesPrescott77

    Can’t believe what I just did – e-mailed one prominent writer I admire and Tweeted another creative/writer (because I couldn’t find an e-mail anywhere). Didn’t apologise, didn’t say no for them, just straight out what I wanted, politely but without apologising. One of the most courageous things I’ve ever done. Will let you know what response I get…

    • That’s awesome, James!  This post really challenged me because I’ve sent Facebook messages to two extremely well-known authors that I admire in the past.  However, I’ve done it apologetically, knowing before I even hit the send button that my request was going to go unnoticed.  Now I wonder had I done things differently, maybe my request would have been granted.  Would love to know if you got a response with this different approach!

      • JamesPrescott77

        I did get a response – and it was helpful, encouraging and challenging. Steven Pressfield did get back to me, saying that essentially doing all the Skype chat stuff was a form of resistance and I needed to focus on working, writing and reading. He was really helpful and friendly, but also not afraid to challenge me.

        But he got back to me, which was incredible. The other person I have tweeted hasn’t got back to me – but kind of expected that as they are difficult to contact and rarely online. I wasn’t apologetic or anything, simply they are too busy (they are very well known). 

        But if you choose the right person and do it right, I think you’ll bear fruit. I did it with Jeff himself 6 months ago, and got a positive response from him. 

        Go for it!

        • wow! love that.

        • That is awesome & very encouraging! What an incredible experience for you. Your experience with Mr. Pressfield inspires me to try again. Even if I don’t receive a response, I really want to take a different approach, like the way Jeff challenged us.

          • JamesPrescott77

            Go for it – let us know how it goes!

          • Love how you guys are spurring each other on.

    • Way to be bold, James!

      • JamesPrescott77

        Thanks Lucrecer! Actually given me confidence to do it more….after all, what do we have to lose?

  • Practically, I have been tweeting and FB my blog posts and have a few regular readers.

    We “used to be” https://averageabundance.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/used-to/ missionaries. Always writing…not asking but needing and responding with writing in gratitude. It is hard to be dependent on others but it is also necessary. Writing gratitude back always connected us. Needing and being needed are basic life requirements.

    Recently I boldly asked the wife of a very influential godly man for her time. She is wedding planing for a daughter so I gave her until after June to respond.

    We also need to be investing in others. Even if that is just a Michael Hawkins (you see him here) encouraging. Words impact! Is not that why we write?

    We were created for together!  I think this blog and they way we all got here is evidence of that.

    • I totally get this.

    • denisedilley

      Jackie, I love how you say you “used to be” missionaries!  I “used to be” a full-time missionary, as well.  If you’re anything like me, however, you realize that you’re a missionary wherever you find yourself!

      Heading over to your blog to check it out now…  🙂

      • I’m in the same camp, minus the “used to” part.

  • BTW, Jeff, I feel as though you are a fan of me, personally =) #15habits

  • Pingback: Getting connected « Northern Mummy()

  • At a Brendon Burchard conference I really connected with a best-selling author/speaker. I’ve stayed in touch and as a result he put in a good word and I got a speaking gig at a conference in Sydney, Australia in July! Networking and making real connections is the way to go!

  • JamesPrescott77

    Jeff, I remember connecting with you for the first time in January. I asked you for an interview and Skype chat for my blog and you said yes – I was totally convinced I was crazy and that I should have never have asked, and was genuinely taken aback when you said yes. 

    That story alone is proof that this works – and you practice what you preach. Thanks again for sharing this.

  • I hooked up with a local writer’s group.  Sharing my story idea the first time I went was one of the hardest things I ever did.  Up til then I hadn’t exposed my “baby” to anybody.  I’m really glad I did, though.  They offered helpful advice and were supportive of my dream.

    I’ve also been asking a friend of mine for advice.  She loves the genre that I’m writing in, sci-fi/fantasy, so her advice has been helpful, too.

  • Today on Face book, a quote from my blog was shared by another writer- in England.

    • Very cool. Love how the web connects us so seamlessly.

    • denisedilley

      That’s awesome, Mollie!

  • I came across one of the best blogs on creative writing I have ever visited. I will try to connect with him this evening when I am at Starbucks (instead of at work). Saying this to hold myself accountable..

  • JamesPrescott77

    I got a response from Steven Pressfield, who I e-mailed (I still can’t believe I did that). 

    He told me that stopping and trying to find people and the Skype chat idea was actually a form of resistance – and that to succeed as a writer I simply needed to work, read and write. It was interesting, insightful advice .

    I do think building relationships with others is important, as you talk about so well Jeff. But at the same time we must not forget the work of writing, of honing the craft itself  – that is even more important. 

    We need to read, write and ship – and keep on doing that.

    • Wow, James. Awesome!

      • JamesPrescott77

        Thanks for challenging me to do this Jeff – and for this series. Making a difference.

    • That’s amazing James.  Are you reading his new book?

      • JamesPrescott77

        Yes, been reading it – just as good as ‘War of Art’

  • Oh Jeff, there you go again, handing out another impossible task.  ;O)  Making friends?  What?  Seems hard enough to keep up with the ones I have let alone corralling a whole new group of them.  I do have a couple of writer friends, but they’re confined to the internet.  Don’t know anybody local.  *sigh*  Couldn’t I be one of those reclusive writers hiding inside my home, refusing to give interviews or even be seen out in public?  One of those writers with a whole slew of rumors swirling around about why she won’t go outside the confines of her four walls?  The kind who everybody can’t wait to see what she’s going to write next just so that people can maybe, possibly catch a glimpse of her?  Yeah, that’s the kind of writer I wanna be.   *wink wink*

  • I have done a part of this, but need to push it further.  When I first realized a few years ago I wanted to write a picture book, I was cruising through blogs and I believe God led me to one in particular – a gal not too far from me was a published children’s author AND was looking to collaborate with someone on another picture book.  I got on that faster than a fly on flypaper and emailed her with my interest.  A few months later, we had the idea for a book, and a year after that, a signed contract with Putnam. 

    So…network, network, network!!!

  • I wonder if patrons would be more or less willing to get on a google hangout with a few people. Like maybe 4 or 5. Perhaps from their perspective it’s a more impactful thing for them to do, and it might even seem like a mini-speaking gig.

  • Today, I asked for help and advice.  I engaged with several members of this community.  Emails have been sent, hoping that doors will be opened for communication.  Does anyone live in the Atlanta area and willing to meet up to talk about writing or Skype?  I also would like to connect with others, looking for people to hold me accountable and give constructive criticism when I need it.  my email is ben@bendempsey.net and Skype is benjamindempsey.

  • On my blog , I wrote – “I continue to seek out, study, and invite myself into other writers’ lives whether they want me there or not.”  I could have continued with “Take Jeff Goins, for example….”

    thanks for having me 🙂

  • I almost feel like I’ve joined an AAA group. Sheepishly, I stand here
    in front of all of you and say, “Hi, I’m Ron. I’m a writer and I don’t
    know what I’m doing. I don’t need to be stopped, but directed – a
    knowledgeable critic, a helpful reader, an encouraging editor – just a
    little guidance with what I write.”

    But to say that feels like begging. “Say, buddy, can you spare an
    better verb? It’s been a rough week, you see; my sentence structure is a
    little off. Whatever you can spare will help. A few words, even a
    couple of letters. Besides F and U, I mean. Yeah, that’s ok, thanks
    anyway.”

    You know, if it wasn’t for readers, writing would be much, much easier.
    Not as much as fun or rewarding. So I’ll take Jeff’s challenge to
    connect. “Hi, I’m Ron …” 

    • I love this on so many levels.

    • Hi, Ron!

    • Nancy Slocum

       What a creative mind and style you have and funny to boot!  Would love to read more…

      •  Thank you for those encouraging words, Nancy.  Perhaps you might find my blogs as entertaining.

        •  Nancy, where is the link to your site(s)?

    • Hi Ron. We are so glad you are here.  Now that’s funny. 
        

    • Hi Ron!

  • I’m reaching out to other writers and readers – through libraries. Been wanting to start something for a while. Today I made “first contact” and hopefully got things going. 

  • I think the hardest part for me is “the big ask.” I do it in spurts, because most of the time I don’t want people to think that I’m just saying, “Hey, I write good stuff, and I want you to agree with me.” However, when I do ask, people usually respond kindly. It’s just a hangup with me…no two ways about it.

  • Nancy Slocum

    I asked Kathryn Bonner, founder of WPPI (Women of Passionate Purpose International) if she would take a look at a few chapters and the back cover of my book and give me her feedback.  I have loved joining her community that encourages women to ignite the passion within.  She is one very creative and busy lady so I almost didn’t ask. It was so worth sticking my neck out to ask her.  She gave me some very helpful feedback!  Turns out we are kindred spirits and really “get each other.”  We are becoming fast friends that spark and draw great things out of each other. 

  • Heather Murphy

    I’m planning to check out local libraries for critique groups and continue to connect with fellow bloggers as well

  • I joined a big group of PB writers in a challenge: 12 manuscripts in 12 months in 2012. It has been the most wonderful experience – more than I could have dreamed for! This has lead me to converse with writers published and unpublished on a daily basis, and sharing is the name of the game – every day in every way, from all corners of the world – on a facebook page! From this well of knowledge I have found an online critique group, been inspired to form a local face-2-face crit-group (we are 8 writers now) , been motivated to enter numerous contests, start a blog (and online presence), submit mss for free ratings (visit rateyourstory.com), and don’t forget the mss piling up! I am soooo lucky!

  • Once again this post prompted me to do things I think about doing but don’t get done.  I reached out asked Danny Iny of Engagement from Scratch for an interview.  He said yes.  I also wrote a note to another blogger who told me I could contact her about a health subject privately.  I did it and again got some great answers.

    I think more than anything your prompts have helped me to do things I think about doing and know I should do but spend my time caught up in doing the same things and don’t reach out in the areas that could really make me grow.

    Huge Mahalos.

    • Danny’s a great guy. We’re talking about doing a webinar together.

  • Pushing me to ask big things of much bigger bloggers than myself, Jeff. Thanks for the nudge!

    I might as well include you among such requests, for that matter. Would you have time for high-level feedback on an urban fantasy short story?

    • I’m happy to connect with people as I’m able to, James, but given the amount of requests like this I get, I can’t commit to reading other people’s longer pieces. Sorry. I’ll bet you can find someone in the group who can, though!

  • Ok, so this has NOTHING to do with writing or my writing career (because I AM a writer and I HAVE a career..) but you, Jeff, have changed my way of thinking. And because of that, I have a really neat story to tell you.
    My daughter (11) plays the violin (quite well, if I may say so.) She has an old friend in another city that also plays. Last summer, the friend was interested in coming here and staying with us so she could attend a String Quartet Camp. But that summer her father lost his job, so they couldn’t make it happen.
    This spring I contacted them to see if they were interested in trying it this summer, but mom informed me that her husband was STILL out of work and there was no way they could swing it.
    Then, last night I was having an email conversation with the director of the camp and something prompted me to go ahead and ask if there were ever any scholarships available and I told her about my daughter’s friend. It was because of your encouragement to be bold and believe in myself and others that I felt comfortable just asking. If you don’t ask, you will never know, right?
    So, this morning I got an email saying that she would give the friend a scholarship and accept her on my recommendation! So, it’s all good to go, she’ll be coming up and staying with us and have an opportunity that was beyond them yesterday.
    God is good. And people are good. And all things are possible.
    So, thank you, Jeff, for urging us all to be our best, do our best and to always try.
    N

    • Katina Vaselopulos

      This is a great story Naomi!
      Just what Jesus said: “Ask and  you shall receive!” Best of luck to the girls!

    • Wow! Cool. Thanks for sharing, Naomi.

  • Thanks, Jeff, for encouraging this quiet girl to get outside her comfort zone and reach out to make new friends.  Not that it worked, mind you.  I took the passive approach & followed a few folks from the #15habits community & commented on some of their blogs.  🙂 

    • you’re welcome! thanks for going for it.

    • Glad to see you stepping out a little now, Denise.

  • Just a question/comment: I agree with “connection”. I feel that it’s something we all need – a “necessary”. I have connected with a few other writers lately and I relished the thought of being able to share my ideas; hear their ideas; fit in as a “writer” (I Am a Writer…); and get my work out there. I began to feel included in the writing community…

    My question is this: if many of us want that connection, why would some writers block other writers from visiting their site? I’m fairly sure that I’ve been blocked in a few instances, and it’s honestly left me hurt, confused and out-of-sorts. I know that rejection is a part of this – maybe it’s just my first lesson…

    I’ve checked my blog’s content: there is nothing profane, offensive or illegal. My grammer doesn’t appear to be suspect, either.

    I know I can’t let this eat my lunch. I have a lot to say and want to thank the others who haven’t blocked me. I enjoy reading their work, and I’m here to support as well as be supported. I hope for both.

    • Lisa R

      Are you talking about being blocked from another writer’s blog? Oh, how sad. I haven’t had that happen to me, but I did hear some crazy stories at the convention I went to a few weeks back about how some people had approached writers who were also publishers and editors. They were aggressive and pushy and not at all professional. The people I spoke with though had not let it affect them and were very kind to those of us who were there. I even had a writer/publisher take the time to help me refine what genre I’m working in. That’s probably a good lesson for all of us, now that I think about it.  Making sure that we are acting like profssionals when we approach these people will do more towards fostering these relationships than anything else.

      • Lisa,

        Thanks so much for your reply. It is so odd, and I think that’s what’s bothering me. I felt I had been very supportive of these writers and really did enjoy their writing/posts. They are just starting out too and I had the impression that we were just fine reading & supporting each other’s blogs. It’s unsettling to think that I may have upset someone or stepped on their toes – I didn’t believe that I had, though.

        I know that all things happen for a reason, so I’m going to focus on that. I have to get used to all the things a writer will face, and rejection is no exception. I really appreciate your feedback.

  • This is a lovely site, just discovered it. A lot of great tips here, I sure have writers who inspire me, I don’t think I inspire anybody though, maybe to travel yes, not to write ;)Earning a patron would be so important, pretty hard I guess..

  • Mcedo1

    Friday morning, after reading this I had prayed that God would provide the patrons in my life since I felt pretty covered in the friends and fans department.  That afternoon, after volunteering at a food pantry, one of the other volunteers approached me and said she felt led to invite me to the next meeting of Women in Media (I used to work at a major TV network) to introduce me to some leading female producers she knows (I am a screenplay writer.)  I had no idea God would work this fast but my meeting is set for the first week in July. I am beyond excited to see what happens next.

  • There are several examples I could use, but I’ll share the one that’s led to a growing friendship.  When I first began blogging and learning how to use Google, a website with a similar name to mine kept popping up.  After some time, my curiosity got the best of me.  What I found was a website written in alliterative copy.  It was a collection of crazy letters written by the owner to various companies in the most humorous style.  Immediately, there was a connection.  After reading several posts, I was laughing out loud.  I got enough nerve to make my comment and share my reaction.  

    I was surprised to learn I was the very first commenter.  The author/owner of the website writes anonymously, so I’m not free to share.  Since then, I learned he is a professional copywriter with an amazing repertoire behind him.  When I wrote my first feature newspaper article, he offered to take a look at it.  His thumb’s up gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going.  

    He continues to offer advice and friendship to which I am ever so grateful.

  • Pattie

    This reminds me to follow up on a guest post request I received during finals week in May. Thank you.

  • I don’t know enough people. 🙂 Gah, I sound like a hobbit.

  • I already have a wonderful network of writers with my 12×12 in 2012 challenge group, but today, I will reach out to two ladies on our church’s “communications committe” which they have asked me to join!

  • I started a mastermind group about 8 months ago. It has been hugely beneficial – key was not trying to get a bunch of ‘patrons’ to notice me, but to be willing to get shoulder-to-shoulder with a handful of bloggers who were at the same spot in the journey. Now we are all growing together.
    Of the 12 members in our group, 5 are working on or have published an ebook. We have all become better writers and better bloggers for having accountability and companionship in the journey.
    I shared the link and would love a book on networking.

  • At a Brendon Burchard conference I really connected with a best-selling
    author/speaker. I’ve stayed in touch and as a result he put in a good
    word and I got a speaking gig at a conference in Sydney, Australia in
    July! Networking and making real connections is the way to go!

  • “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.”

    Okay. But you need to know that the thought of this is making feel a little bit woozy.

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  • I have always connected with many writers and authors.

    But I haven’t found one that was at the same stage as I was yet.

    Often they were either way ahead of me or way behind me.

    Either they had published 10 books or they didn’t have any published yet – I exists in the middle of both.

    Cheers!