As writers, we spend most of our time alone. We huddle over our keyboards and block out the rest of the world in order to concentrate on writing. That’s the nature of the job. When we do emerge from our self-imposed silence, it is important to network with other writers.
Writers need each other for a number of reasons. Here are some of them:
1. Writers benefit on an emotional level from talking with other writers who understand what they are going through. Other writers are the perfect audience to listen to how we conquered our most recent bout of writer’s block or to listen to a great idea we came up with for our book.
2. Usually, writers can keep each other going when they are faced with a particularly difficult period in the writing or publishing process. Your spouse may sympathize, but it is most helpful to hear encouragement from someone who really understands what you are trying to accomplish.
3. Sharing. In addition to sharing on an emotional level, sharing on a practical level is another important reason why writers need other writers. We learn through experiences how to connect to agents, editors and other writers. If you’re in need of information on how it all works, another writer will often have the information you need.
4. Critique. Writers understand the writing process and what you are trying to accomplish. Consequently, we can often give a good critique of each other’s writing. At times, you may want an outside opinion from a typical reader, but often the best critique a writer will receive is an honest assessment of his writing from another writer.
5. Process. Writers know the process from first word to publication. Most often new writers learn from those who have been at it a while how the process works. For a writer just starting out, talking to a seasoned writer can often save lots of time. No need to follow the path that another has already marked as a dead end.
Networking is valuable to writers. If you don’t know how to contact other writers, look around for a writers’ association, organization, or guild in your area. Many times you can find the listing for groups on line or through the staff of the local newspaper. If you find an organization, become active. If there are no writers’ associations in your area, you can seek out writers on line for the same purpose. In any case, writers do need other writers, so don’t stay tucked away at your desk all of the time.
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