Forging New Threads – And New Connections

Photo courtesy of Petr Kratochvil

Thanks to the efforts of Patti Larsen, today’s post is part of a writer’s bloghop. Similar to a sock hop, but without the physical exertion and sweat. It has been titled “Second Tuesday”, and will appear here…well, every second Tuesday of the month. The objective is to present a topic for conversation, then link together a group of blogs that will provide you, the reader, the opportunity to read the different interpretations of the topic. Pretty cool, right? I think so, too. We all have a unique perspective, and I look forward to getting to know other bloggers and forging new connections. Which, coincidentally….

This month’s topic is “New Connections”. For both new and established writers, this is an important topic, especially if you’re a self-published or indie author. We don’t have the advantage of traditionally published products — we don’t have the distribution channels, the exposure, or the support of a big house behind us. Moreover, we don’t have gatekeepers to vet the material that’s being produced. This can be a problem, as we slog away in obscurity, writing our little fingers to the bone and presenting our best, then waving our arms in the air, jumping up and down with pom poms, to little or no avail. We’re a hardy bunch; we celebrate every book or piece sold, one by one, but it can be a long, frustrating process.

You don’t have to tell us to not give up. For most of us, that’s not even a consideration. We love what we do and wouldn’t quit if you tied us to a chair and let loose the zombies. (Okay, maybe then.) But, what are our options if we want to make our endeavors successful? New connections, of course! How do you do that?

Join groups that interest you, don’t just join a group to join. That’s not to say you can’t join a group then drop out if it doesn’t work for you, and time can be a factor, but at least try something different from time to time. Participation is key — without it, you’re just a name on a board and that’s not really going to do you any good. While I am really starting to despise the term “writer’s platform”, there is no mystery to the process. Just like in “real life”, you have to put yourself out there, interact with people from a SINCERE place, and keep on building, once block at a time.

Here are some suggestions for writers:

#Amwriting: this is a group of writers who have met on Twitter, and this site is the brainchild of novelist Johanna Harness. Here is a directory of members and their works, a discussion forum, and other nifty ways to get your name out and about and a way to form new connections.

ABC Indie Reading Challenge: I can’t remember where I first saw this link, but I was totally hooked when I did. I firmly believe in putting my money where my mouth is, and not only is this a good way to expose yourself to new indie fiction, it’s also a fabulous way to pay it forward and to present honest reviews on those read to the public.

Sometimes, you’re looking for something closer to your heart. Your very own peeps, people who write in the same genre and are aware of the challenges and torture chambers that await the unwary. Check out the brand-new collective at Indie Horror for those who write horror. Although in the early stages, it looks like a good way to hook up with others who write about the dark, bitey things that lurk in the shadows of your closet. (Ooo! *shiver* I just freaked myself out!)

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Of course, joining a group and hanging out from time to time can reap a number of benefits you’re not expecting. You might find a Trek buddy, a new critique partner, or someone who just so happens to have a talent you need that may be willing to barter for a talent you have that they need. Again, because we don’t have a big house behind us, it’s a little more difficult to retain the same level of services they do such as editing and graphic design. However, you’re not the only independent out there — there are many others in many other disciplines looking for the same big break you are who are just as talented, if not more so, that the pool NYC has to work with.

My main message here is — help a brother or a sister out, if you can. Even if it’s something as small as a vote for an award, a helping hand with copy, exchanging services, re-posting a Tweet or a link on FB, joining a group and making friendly (and legal!) advances — be a doer, not a wallflower in the corner. Not only will you advance your own interests, you’ll be helping others out, and that type of good karma can only come back in the best of ways.

Be open. Be friendly. Be honest. Be kind. Above all, be kind. There’s too much of the other bullshit floating around out there.

You can find “Not Nice and Other Understatements” here for purchase, or you can find it on Amazon in print or for the Kindle. It is also available on Smashwords in a plethora of formats for your reading pleasure. For an autographed copy, please visit this post. Thanks for your support!

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9 thoughts on “Forging New Threads – And New Connections

  1. Awesome post, netta. Thanks for taking it one step further by including links–we’re all in this together and need to be there for each other, whether we’re trad published, self published or heading in either direction with our hopes in our hands.

    Live long and prosper, sister.

    • Exactly, Patti. I can honestly say most of the writers I’ve met are incredibly supportive of each other, and that just makes me love this job even more.

      Many thanks to you. :)

  2. Annetta, I love the sentiment behind your post. ‘Good karma’ is one of those catch phrases that becomes meaningless unless one puts action behind it. A little DOES go a long way when supporting a fellow writer, and I am happy to do it for anyone I think is deserving of recognition, not to get anything in return, but because it takes so little effort to make a difference to another writer If I contribute in some small way to moving that person closer to his or her dream—whatever that dream may be, then it’s absolutely worth it for me.

    A writer once told me to “pimp my book.” I’d like to think I’d never pimp anything to anyone—not my style. I’m more comfortable helping someone else than to ask for help for myself, but like all writers, I think the message we want to get across is: “I hope you support me. I’ve put my heart and soul into my book, and it’d be great if you as one of my new connections would LIKE me, RETWEET me, or spread the word about me. It’s wonderful to have a friendly testing ground of writers online, and hopefully they are representative of the bigger world of connections, and that they too will like us, our stories, our writing.

    • It takes so little, and it means so much, you’re right. It can be pretty rough out there sometimes, and all it takes is a click, a short message, a nod of some sort, just a little kindness that goes a long way.

      Thanks for stopping by :)

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