It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. I’ve heard this over and over since high school and with ever new experience, it rings true just a little more. Your network of family, friends, and acquaintances is your lifeline to success. Period.
So what happens when your network fails?
I’ve been published since 2011. My awesome network helped spread the word about my books until I landed a coveted slot on BookBub and ultimately ended up with my first two Emerald Seer novels on the Kindle Bestseller list. I rode that wave for a few months and then life happened and I had to start all over. This post is not about that, though, it’s about how to recover from a network failure. There are a number of things you can do – and must do – because networks are the lifeblood of any writer today.
I built a network. It rocked then it was gone in an instant and it took a long time to be okay with it. But, in a new setting I put myself out there. That’s what it takes. You HAVE to put yourself out there. Pull up your big girl (or boy) pants and meet people. Go to conventions, writing groups, whatever it takes for you to find a new network with new people. Like anything else in life, you can start from scratch. It’s completely okay to start over. You will find your people somehow. Artsy types can’t help but be drawn to each other.
The bottom line is – START OVER.
Salvaging An Old Network
When networks fail it doesn’t mean they imploded. It may be something as simple as relocation. To that I say, there’s this awesome thing called the internet that allows you to keep in touch. Use it, it works. Or maybe, it’s a group that never really worked as a whole but some of the components function well together. Do you know a group like this? Try to keep in touch with the few people you connected with and form a new group. There is no shame in such things, people have different paths and you need to be on a path with others moving in the same general direction at the same average pace.
Give Yourself Permission
Maybe you like the people you are working with but things just aren’t working for you. Perhaps you realize a very big problem with your network that others seem to ignore or accept for whatever reason. Oh! A personal favorite from past experience – do you just not get how the “leader of the pack” continues to lead the pack because he/she is clueless and/or wrong more often than not?
Give yourself permission to leave a toxic network and start a new one. People may be angry, they may be hurt, they may lash out. You must remember that you cannot control other people actions, emotions, or choices but YOU are entitled to your feelings and the freedom to leave toxic situations.
The Bottom Line
You need a network. Maybe you aren’t particularly great with people – too bad, suck it up Buttercup. If you are choosing this life then you choose the good and the bad parts of it. It is hard work for me to be “on” at events and I struggle for days after I leave one. I won’t get into the personality stuff because that’s a whole different post, but, behaving like a social butterfly is hard for me and takes a lot more energy that people think. It is completely draining and possibly the least favorite part of being a writer. But, DO IT ANYWAY!
Need more ideas or support? Reach out to me at email@example.com – I’m always looking to expand my network!