Okay – a show of hands for those who think they love networking.

Back in my professional days, everyone bemoaned the tortures of networking events. But then, what’s not to love about listening to colleagues wax poetic about budget models and data structure? Okay, so maybe that is a bit boring if it’s not your passion – it sure wasn’t mine.

computer showing networking article

So I guess it’s only natural that as I’m learning about networking for writers, my first instinct is to groan (and maybe try to hide). The conversation in my head goes something like this:

Rude Networking Guru (RNG): You need a website
Me: But I have a website
RNG: (chuckles wickedly) No – a professional website, an author website.
Me: Okay, but I haven’t even published a book yet.
RNG: You need to do it now – before you’re published. Oh, and you need to start a newsletter, too.
Me: Umm – does anyone actually read newsletters?
RNG: It doesn’t matter, you need a newsletter to build your email list.
Me: Ohhhh, but why?
RNG: So you can send them a newsletter.
Me: Uhh-huh…
RNG: And social media – don’t forget social media. You need thousands of followers.
Me: Thousands? (gulp) How am I supposed to interact with thousands of followers?
RNG: And writing groups – are you involved in writing groups? Join some on FaceBook. Do you have an author page?
Me: Umm, yes – But when do I get to actually write?

Okay – so I’m being facetious. And I do really enjoy connecting with people. My website – it’s getting an update – soon. I’m keeping my blog
– and the newsletter? Well – according to many agents, the newsletter is not optional.

“If you don’t want to create and curate a mailing list, I understand. But if you choose to not have one, then I’ll also respect your wish to treat writing as only a hobby.”

Ouch

My project for this month – “Enchantment.”

And what is more enchanting than the moon? So – last week, on a clear night, I decided to take a picture. The moon wasn’t supposed to rise until after midnight, so I went to bed, knowing I’d wake up at some point (I always do).
And I did – around 1 am. I got up, got dressed, and went onto my deck – Nothing. Huh.
I went back to bed. An hour later, I woke up again, got back up, got dressed, and headed back out to my deck – and discovered that there is a heck of a lot more to photographing the moon in the middle of the night than sticking my camera on a tripod and clicking. (A more powerful lens would be helpful, too)
After a few shots of a blurry blob, I gave up and went back to bed.
Then, heading out for my normal morning walk with Chessie, I looked up and there was the moon, right in front of me.
Huh.

I’ll try again – but I may need to find something other than the moon to feel enchanted about – just sayin’.

February’s eclectic pile o’ books

My revisions are moving along and I’m on track to finish round #1 in early March. In the meantime, my reading list is partially for fun and partially about “learning from the masters”
Agatha Christie – master of mystery plot (I’ll read the ABC Murders)
Josephine Tey – master of mystery and perspective – I hope. Still in my pile to be read.
Ernest Hemingway – master of prose – I just finished The Sun Also Rises, and I won’t be reading another of his books for a while, nor will I be copying his style of prose. But I am learning to cut unnecessary words – so the lesson wasn’t for naught.
Right now – I’m Buried in a Bog in Ireland – it’s a cozy read, just for fun.
Bird by Bird – another book about a writer’s life (because I haven’t read enough of those…) – Lamott has a funny style – fun to read.
And then there’s Anxious People – Right, well, aren’t we all?
Poetry of Presence – good for that anxiety thing.

Until next time – I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to!

Stay wild, moon child” (Riitta Klint)

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Sarah

    So funny you say that about Networking. I watched a free five day series of videos on branding, marketing, etc, to be a viable ‘fine artist” . What I determined after watching the second video is that; I don’t want to be that kind of fine artist. I want to be me, the eclectic artist that I am. I will do this my way. It may be slow, but it sure will be authentic. But, there is a lot more wiggle room in art than there is in writing.

    1. Karen

      I hear you! It can feel overwhelming and there’s so much more to it than I never imagined. I think I’ll just go step-by-step and see where it goes – no real rush. Like you, I prefer to be authentic and think (hope) that in the end that will be what’s right for me. First step, my website – I had been thinking about an update, anyway – then maybe I’ll read a little more – or take a course – on the newsletter piece…

  2. Carola Bartz

    I’m not a big networker, but I do love to network with the German teachers in the greater Bay Area. I’m not a fan of receiving newsletter and the “unsubscribe” button is the first thing I hit. The whole social media thing? I don’t know – it’s a big time sucker. It doesn’t help if you have thousands of Facebook or Instagram followers if no one will read your book. Writers (and other artists) were very successful before social media (maybe because people had actually time to read). I agree with Sarah’s comment about being authentic.

    1. Karen

      Sometimes I wonder whether social media is a help or a hindrance – probably both. I agree, it can suck up a lot of time. It’s going to be slow and steady for me, because – yes – authenticity is important!

  3. Lynne

    I have been away . . . happy to see your post.
    I will try to get back in the swing of things . . .
    Morning moon walk sounds better than the “nighttime checks!”

    1. Karen

      Morning moon walk was definitely better – and a lot less frustrating!
      It was nice to hear from you. I hope you’re doing well.

  4. Beatrice P Boyd

    That imagined exchange between the RNG and yourself, while imagine, may be truer in reality. A friend of mine did co-author a book on money matters years ago and did receive actual similar advice. She dutifully set up a website for her writing endeavors, but sad to relate did not see any demand for her creative services. She may by now have abandoned the site. This was not meant to be a discouraging comment and sorry if it appeared that way, Karen, because your writing will be of a totally different and I suspect more appealing nature. Many people prefer a good mystery to financial reading. The morning walk would definitely have been my preference.

    1. Karen

      No worries – I’m not discouraged. For better or for worse, it’s all part of writing. Since I already have a website, I’ll give it an update, but will probably keep my blog much as it is. I will figure out the rest as I go. It was good to hear from you!

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