Due to my desire to write 'the' novel that will eventually expose me to a larger audience, I searched around my city for a writers group. I found some and I joined them all. Maryland Writers Association, The Romance Writers (I just hang out a few of their meetings), The Columbia writers group (I found them at www.meetup.com) , the Black Writer’s Guild, Mid-Atlantic Book Publishers, and Independent Book Publishers Association, Critique Circle, AbsoluteWrite.com/forum and YaLitchat.org. I joined these, not just to meet people, but to learn about writing. And it's through these groups, I’ve met tons of amazing and best-selling authors who’ve inspired me to become better at my craft.
Did you know you don’t have to be a bestselling author to get speaking gigs? Matter of fact, sometimes you don’t even have to be published. You can still support others' goals of becoming published by speaking about your own experiences. I didn't know this before I started speaking and touring for my books. I have met people who have spoken at events (both for free and paid) that support the art of writing by being a long-standing board member of writers' organizations, or by being a freelance editor, or by working the the field of public relations. Sometimes just starting to write something and exposing yourself to people in the business can gain you knowledge that you can easily share with others.
Blogging about writing
I’ve met quite a few writers via blogging. Even though they sometimes admit they may never finish what they've started, they love to write regardless. It's people like this that you need on your team. Passionate writers who love to do what you love to do. If you share your writing challenges and, of course, your triumphs, with other authors in the blogging community, you will find yourself with an array of wonderful relationships. It may not sell you books, but it will definitely arm you with a troop of supporters. And who doesn't need support in this business?
Connect with non-fiction writers.
There are many people I know, either from my day job, or everyday peers, that thrive in areas such as medicine, engineering and social services. They’ve found it a necessity to have published work, to either support their public speaking gigs, or to offer others information to do with their field. Many of them don’t like to write. But they’ve worked with writing coaches to help them write books, pamphlets, support documents and white papers to share. Sometimes this has turned into a profitable venture for them. Believe it or not, many of these folks self-publish their materials and make a pretty penny on speaking and selling these items to their guests. We can learn a lot from these people. My point? Just because someone doesn't write in your genre, it doesn't mean that they won't be helpful to you.
... with everything I've shared about connecting with others, tell me about you.
Who has putting pen to paper connected you to? Who are your most beloved connections? Are you a blogger who has a following or a writer who’s happy to have met great friends?