Thursday’s Thoughts on Writing ~ Introverts, Interaction, Networking & Community

Writers need to write.

It’s simple enough. Rather basic, really. No big surprise there. But when you look in greater detail at what successful writers do, there’s more to it than just writing (or writing well).

Writers need to network. They need a #WritingCommunity.

Image result for lone wolfWait. What? But aren’t we all shy? Lone wolves doing our own thing, fearful of leaving our safe writing spots and interaction and (gasp) conversation. With other people?!?!

I’m what you’d call a severe introvert. I wouldn’t say I’m shy, I’ve seemed to have outgrown that throughout the years, but I’m horrible at small talk. Bad at starting conversations with strangers. I’ve read that people like being asked questions about themselves, but I can’t seem to do that, either. Sometimes, when people ask me questions, it feels like the Inquisition. It seems cruel to do that to someone else.

Isn’t this the way you’re supposed to be as a writer?

Image result for writer's digest conventionThen what are all the conventions about? Big gatherings of people – who write – all across America, held for the purpose of meeting, talking, networking. How does this work, exactly? And how do we learn to step out of our comfort zone to join the chaos  nightmare  fun?

Are there enough writers who are extroverts? Do they carry the conversation for all of us, or are they the only ones getting networking done? I need a large dose of courage, stat!

Next month I’m attending my first conference. Just me and several hundred strangers. That’s not uncomfortable at all. Gulp. 😨

I’ve read up on what I’m supposed to do. I’ve checked Twitter to see who’s posting and what’s trending about the event. In this case, very little indeed. So there’s really no one to follow, no one to ‘pre-meet’ before the event from behind the safety of an electronic device, no way to integrate myself into a ‘social’ group beforehand. Unless I make it happen.

Twitter is the #1 recommendation I’ve seen for introverts trying to prepare for writer events. Since tweeting takes very little effort, I’m going to try building my ‘pack’, see if anyone connects with me if I try throwing myself out there. If anyone reading this is going to the 2018 New England Crime Bake, (and is not opposed to a little pre-conference convo), send me an email (AuthorShannonHollinger@gmail.com) or a message in the comment section below.

If anyone’s been to some of these events before, and has some advice, I’d love to hear it!

Image result for lone wolfIn the meantime, I’m researching members of the panel, familiarizing myself with everyone and everything that I  can so I don’t get struck mum and wind up regretting that I didn’t say a word to anyone the entire time. This lone wolf is ready for action, prepared for stranger danger and ready to say some words! (I think hope am!)

 

 

8 thoughts on “Thursday’s Thoughts on Writing ~ Introverts, Interaction, Networking & Community”

  1. It is always scary going outside your comfort zone! It is nice (BUT incredibly scary) being in New York and even just going to writer write ins. I always work myself up and it ends up being so much fun and I end up learning so much. But it is that initial unknown that is anxiety inducing. I hope you have a blast! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll let you know. 🙂 I’ve had to give presentations before and have had to meet plenty of clients that were strangers, but for some reason this means more to me so it’s more nerve wracking. I figure we all already have something in common, so it can’t be too hard to find something to talk about.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Shannon! Thanks for visiting my blog last month. I came to check yours out, and I would just love if you would consider joining my monthly blog hop for authors. It’s the third Wednesday of every month, and we are off for November (nanowrimo) and December (holidays), so we’re not starting again until January. Anyway, here are the details if you’re interested in checking out how it all works: https://raimeygallant.com/2017/03/22/authortoolboxbloghop/

    Liked by 1 person

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