Thursday, May 03, 2007

To Network or Not

While I was waiting to hear back on STILL WATERS, I met several pre-pubbed authors and even joined a critique group. Up to that point, I'd been writing in a cocoon, completely oblivious to anything and everything that had to do with the writing world. As I immersed myself into a totally new culture, I heard a lot of talk about the benefits of networking, the importance of attending conferences, and the need to know people. This worried me.

I knew a lot of people. However, it was obvious that those people were not the right people and that somehow my career as a writer was going to be hurt by my inability to connect with the right crowd. I began to feel like a high school freshmen standing on the fringe of the popular clique - never invited in, always just a smile away from being part of them. I didn't have the money for conferences. My kids were seven, five, four, and one. I barely had time to put words on page, let alone chat with groups of writers, rub shoulders with editors, and fly to writing conferences. Was I destined to fail before I'd even begun?

A few years later, I can say with certainty that it isn't conferences or people who help an author toward success. It's hard work, determination, perseverance in the face of rejection. It's trusting in gut instincts and believing in a story enough to carry it through to completion. Writing isn't about rules, it isn't about hobnobbing, it isn't about conferences or contests. It's about the joy of putting words to paper, it's about creating word pictures that come to life in the mind of readers. It's about work, work, work.

If you find time for other things...good. If not, don't sweat it. You're going to be just fine!


Sabrina L. Fox said...

I would agree that hobnobbing isn't going to get you published. And I also believe going to every conference won't do it either. Having said that, I will say that going to conference can be a very educational experience.

What bothers me is people who will spend hundreds of dollars to go just for the fellowship. Who has that kind of time or money? I'm at a place I can't be away from home a lot. I have an almost 8 year old and my husband just doesn't do well with me gone. ;) LOL. So for me to go it is a sacrifice and I need to make it count.

I applied for a scholarship this year for the ACFW conference and one thing I mentioned was that I wasn't going to just have a fun time. I had a lot of things that I need to work on with my writing and I felt I would benefit from the workshops.

It will be the only conference I attend this year and I plan on making the most of it. ;)

(I promise to quit leaving such long comments. LOL)

Anonymous said...


Yesterday's word count--2500 :o)
Hopefully, I'll be able to replicate that again today.

Hope you're having a great week and enjoying the sunshine.