Years ago when I was a struggling--and starving--writer, I agonized about paying the dues for a national writing organization. At that time, it came down to a choice between paying the dues or buying groceries for my five children. Which would you choose? Of course I forked over the dues--after squirreling away nickels and pennies for a year and setting aside my birthday money. And I've never regretted the decision. It set me on the course to being a professional, and well-paid, writer.
This week, when I was contacted to write material for a high-profile, national TV series, that sacrifice paid off big time. I traced a line back from this job opportunity to a writing assignment 3 years ago with a major textbook company, which came about from contacts at a CA book publisher who was shutting down, which came from a referral by a magazine editor, who knew and had published work from one of my critique group members--a friend I'd made through that writing organization more than 10 years ago. Without that friend, I'd never have found my first paying writing gig. Without that friend, I'd never have had my first book contract. Without that friend, I never would have made this long, convoluted journey to being a paid writer.
Each one of us is interconnected, and you never know when an author you meet may hold the key to your success. And conversely, you never know when you might be that vital link in the chain for another writer. I've heard it said that you're only 6 people away from publishing success (provided you've studied your craft and worked hard). You never know who that person might be, so it pays to be generous with your time and knowledge whether the person you meet is a newbie or an experienced writer. Help others as much as you can. Someday they may help you in return.
As a I look back along my writing path, I see many friends and critique partners who contributed to making me the writer I am today. I could have never done it without their support. And, though I still have a long way to go and much to learn, these cheerleaders, mentors, and supporters have moved me much farther along that path than I ever could have gone on my own. I only hope that I, in turn, aided them in their journey. So many thanks to all of you out there for what you've contributed to my life. You know who you are...
And so, I offer you all a networking opportunity. Here's a chance to meet one of my many groups of colleagues, friends, and fellow writers:
Several of The Wild Rose Press authors have banded together to offer a blog bouquet today. Twenty authors are each offering a different prize for stopping by and commenting on their blogs. Who knows what possible connection might open up for you by meeting these authors! I wish you all the wonderful friendships and possibilities that meeting other writers can afford. Good luck!!
Hope you enjoy getting to know every one of them: