My people skills are bad. That’s how I would mildly put it. Since my school days, I was known as a recluse. I never made many friends, didn’t have the guts to go out and introduce myself to new people. I always kept to myself and found solace in books.
My decision to take content writing as a career was largely motivated by my inability to mix with people. I was so happy to know that there was a career where I can sit back at home, and write on my own without anyone disturbing me. There would be no prying eyes of colleagues, no compulsory mixing with strangers and no meddling boss.
Life of a content writer – loneliness is inevitable
A few years into content writing, the factors that motivated me to get into this career started bothering me. I realized that it is one thing to try to save your sanity from a bunch of dumb and open-mouthed school going kids and another to pound on your laptop for days without any human interaction. I started envying my friends who had colleagues to whine about work, who can sip coffee and chat up with them and who can fall back upon one another in times of crisis. I felt the need of having friends from my own profession. I realized that it was important to have writer friends with whom I can share my daily woes.
But, how do I make friends now? Networking. The answer came from a tech-savvy friend.
Why writers should network
Why should I network? Only because I feel lonely? That’s obvious. Writing is a very lonely profession. Having only thoughts as a company is not a good idea. You need human interaction that fellow writers can provide. The best thing about networking is that I didn’t have to leave my house. I could interact with writers through blogs and forums.
Of course, there are other benefits also which became apparent as I started networking with other writers.
Looking For New Opportunities? – Networking Really helps
My online friends proved to be great sources of information. From helping with insurance plans to how to manage time, they always provided me with the most practical solutions whenever I felt stuck.
I got a new project on travelling only because of a writer I befriended on a writing forum. Yes, if you are looking for new opportunities, networking can be of great help. The friends in your network can share leads and help each other to get lucrative projects. As you keep on favoring each other the network grows and you come to know about opportunities that alone would be impossible to find out.
How Networking Helps?
Networking can help you in picking new skills or learning too. If you are trying a new niche you can always ask experienced friends to help you with tips and suggestions. Your friends can share articles, blogs and other materials that may help you to pick up new skills.
As a writer, you may need to cross check information or get someone to give you feedback. Fall back to your network. The virtual friends would be more than happy to share what they know or even read your blogs and give feedback. I am lucky to have an editor friend who often edits my tech articles as I am new in that genre.
How can you network?
Start slow but keep on moving steadily. That’s the best way to build a solid network of friends. Get yourself registered in a few writers’ forums. Start reading and following writers you like. Give honest feedback and suggestions too. Encourage them. Soon you would make a few chosen friends. Slowly expand your network by including more writers.
Be positive when you interact. Stay away from negative comments. Always try to help others. Be honest but not rude. This way you would earn respect and popularity. Keep your personal life away from the ambit of virtual life. Don’t expect much.
Few useful networking sites
There are few networking sites that you can join in like http://www.book-in-a-week.com/ and http://nanowrimo.org/. There are several FB groups dedicated to writers also. Even Twitter can become a good resource to find writers with whom you can create good professional relationships.
I have already got my bunch of friends over the internet. My life as a content writer has become more interesting now. I have kept aside a few minutes every day to chat with my friends. Do you have your own network? How do you maintain it?
About the author – Koyel Majumder – A writer with an eye for perfection. She is a freelance content writer from Mumbai, India with over 6 years of experience of writing web content, blogs and articles. When she is not writing, she will be reading for ideas that would help her to remain up to date. In short, she lives and dreams words and finds this writer’s world fascinating.