Jul 022009
 

Connecting with other writers can help you sell your writing, increase your blog readership, and make you a successful writer! These tips for building a strong writers network are from George Angus of Tumblemoose – he’s one of the most community-minded scribes I know.

Before his tips, a quip:

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.” – Herman Melville.

Says George: “We are the most fortunate generation of writers there has ever been.  Instantly, we can put our writing out into the world, receive feedback and connect with other purveyors of the craft.” Connecting with other writers helps us figure out who we are as writers and connects us in an isolating land.

For more tips on being a successful writer, read 100 Simple Ways to Become a More Inspired, Successful and Fearless Writer by Jennifer Lawler.




And, here are George’s tips for building a strong writers network…

5 Tips for Building a Strong Writers Network

1. Be present in a community. Which community does not really matter; it can be one of your own making or one of your own choosing, but your presence there is very important.  This community can be the blogs you visit on a regular basis or a favorite writer’s forum – whatever works for you. To connect with other writers, visit your regulars and contribute often. (For more info about connecting for success, read 8 Networking Tips for Writers).

2. Give 100%. A long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away) I was sitting in the dentist’s office on the eve of my wedding.  The very wise and sage-like hygenist gave me these words of wisdom: “Marriage is not a 50/50 proposition.  Give 100% and expect nothing in return.”  This pearl will help you in all aspects of your life.  To build a strong writers network, give 100%! Give your thoughts and advice freely, without expecting anything in return. Giving builds trust and community.

3. Give a little more.  Every time I do this, I find I’ve made a valuable friend.  I’ve given a free copy of my e-book (The Writing Experience) to someone who I felt would really put it to use. What I’ve received in return is way more than $9.95.  At some point in the future, I’ll be able to learn something from them – and that is the greatest form of currency I know.

4. Be consistent. Building a strong writers network, keeping meaningful connections alive, and engaging with other writers is hard work.  You need to be active nearly every day.  It’s easy to let blog commenting go a few days and before you know it, a week has gone by and the blog posts are “stale. 

5. Engage people who have different opinions or outlooks.  Someone on Twitter let me know that a blog, which I hadn’t seen before, had a different take on a subject I wrote about. The author was in a full-on tirade and basically blasted my view to smithereens.  I could have been defensive and pointed out to him the error of his ways.  Instead, I posted a congenial and thoughtful post, giving him credit for his valid points.  Since then we have been actively engaging each other; I’ve learned a lot from him and he makes me laugh most every day. (For info on Twitter for writers, read Twitter Benefits for Freelance Writers).

Fellow scribes, how do you engage and connect with other writers? Comments welcomebelow!

George Angus is the owner of Tumblemoose Writing Services and author of The Writing Experience.

laurie pawlik kienlenI'm Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen - Christian, bookworm, travel bug, flute player, writer, blogger, warrior princess. :-) My husband and I live in Vancouver, Canada with our cat and dogs.

What's happening in your life? I welcome your big and little comments below! I can't give you advice, but writing might bring you clarity and insight.

"I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit." - Romans 15:13

In peace and passion...Laurie

  15 Responses to “5 Tips for Building a Strong Writers Network”

  1. Thanks, Vic.

    Giving your 100% is especially difficult when you don’t know if your work will ever be published. I have no problem giving it my all when I’m writing on assignment…but I find writing sample chapters more difficult.

    But still…I will give it 100%. Thanks for the encouragement — and that’s another reason to build a strong writers network! Encouragement.

    Laurie
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..A Freelance Writer’s Spreadsheet for Invoices and Payments =-.

  2. Hi Laurie,

    Such a very nice short post. I like the “give your 100% tip. I also apply it and I believe by giving your 100% you are also giving your greatness. And that will always give you a great reputation – which will give you unexpected great returns.

  3. I do exactly what George does in terms of following people — and I end up following about half the people who follow me. I never follow people who are offensive or too self-promoting or who only tweet about what they’re doing every second of the day or who only give links.

    When I follow people and they DM me their website, I DM mine right back! And sometimes I unfollow (those DMs annoy the heck out of me).

    At first, I only followed writers because I wanted to read all their tweets! But then I realized that I was losing followers, and I didn’t like that. I really struggled with this (as much as one can struggle with something like this!). I want my blogs to grow — that’s one of the reasons I’m on Twitter — so now I follow more people.

    But, I can’t keep up with everyone. Following lots of people means you’re not really connecting with anybody — though I do have a few “favorites” on TweetDeck so I am actually following the writers I want!

    Now that I think about it — it’s come full circle. I’m following more people, but still keeping an eye on those I’m most interested in (writers and editors) via favorites.

    Thanks for asking this question, Valerie! It helped me figure out how I feel about Twitter :-)

    Laurie
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..5 Tips for Developing Your Writer’s Voice =-.

  4. Hi Valerie,

    Well, I headed right on over and followed you, dontcha know!

    If I can ever help, just let me know.

    I look forward to your tweets.

    George
    .-= Tumblemoose´s last blog post ..I think the Editor was asleep =-.

  5. That’s good advice and yes it helps. I’m valeriedykstra on twitter. I follow you and have recently noticed you’re no longer green. ;-)

  6. Hi Valerie,

    That is an outstanding question. Some folks believe that the key to success with Twitter is to build your numbers at all costs. My own experience tells me that is a bad strategy.

    I’ve grown my Twitter account organically. that means I haven’t used any software or magic to add followers or to follow folks. I don’t have tens of thousands of followers and I don’t follow quite as many folks who are following me. My Twittergrade is 99.4 out of 100.

    Ok, with all of that said, you should follow folks that you find to be interesting. Don’t worry if it takes time to build numbers, as you build your community, the followers will come.

    When I receive notification of a new follower I go to their profile page and have a look. If they have a picture of themselves, a description and a website then the basic criteria are in place for me to follow them. Next, I look at the number of updates and their last dozen or so tweets. If their timeline is nothing but self promoting, I don’t follow. Next I look at following/followers ratio. If it’s too out of whack I don’t follow.

    The best advice is to have fun with it. Don’t worry too much about folks who unfollow you – it’s going to happen no matter what you do.

    What’s your Twitter address so I can follow you, if you don’t mind.

    I hope this helps!

    George
    .-= Tumblemoose´s last blog post ..I think the Editor was asleep =-.

  7. I have a Twitter question. I follow about 25 people but I follow them seriously. I check them out daily. Likewise I have about 25 followers (who probably don’t follow me with the same seriousness). Often I get the “___ is now following you” note and check them out and see I have no desire to follow them so I don’t. Not suprisingly, they quit following me. But I’m guessing they were just following me to build their following. Obviously. So here is my question: Do you follow all the people who follow you just to grow your followers? It seems lame and counter-productive to follow those that I have no interest in – hot babes, make a million by tomorrow, etc. Your advice?

  8. Laurie,
    Thanks so much for visiting my blog and adding it to your reader. Your site is so helpful…I can’t wait to start digging into the post treasure trove.

    Karen
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..What Would You Do Differently… =-.

  9. Andy – I thought you may be the culprit!

    You are rockin’ your way through step one…

    Go Andy, Go Andy…

    George
    .-= Tumblemoose´s last blog ..Is your writing blog a success? =-.

  10. Michele,

    hehe. That is one heck of a visual there!

    We are blessed indeed!

    George
    .-= Tumblemoose´s last blog ..Is your writing blog a success? =-.

  11. Hi George
    Yes it was I who hefted the wooden spoon and directed you to Scrawlbug’s pages. I believed I had seen you two cross tweet before, obviously I was wrong. Oh well maybe one day I might get something right. ;)

    There, I have done a little more of tip 1.
    .-= Andy Shackcloth´s last blog ..A Working Writer’s Journal =-.

  12. George, you are SO right! We are the most blessed writers ever. Can you imagined what Johnboy Walton would have done to be able to blog??!!! He’d have skipped all over that mountain!! LOL

    Great post!!

    :-)
    Michele
    .-= Michele´s last blog ..Grammar Girl Contest Winners =-.

  13. Hi Andy!

    I think it was your tweet that sent me over to Srawlbug and Spike the Lobster.

    Your advice about controversial posts is sound. Playing the devil’s advocate usually brings folks around and yes, some of them will immediately go for the personal attacks.

    Thanks for the kind words, my friend. I did just send the newsletter out about a half hour ago. It’s in a video format with some great Alaska pics, I hope you enjoy it!

    George
    .-= Tumblemoose´s last blog ..Is your writing blog a success? =-.

  14. Laurie,

    First, thanks for having me. Yours is one of my most favorite places to visit, and I’m honored to be a part of it.

    The post that went nutso was about the extremely poor paying projects on bidding sites. I didn’t write it with the intention of being controversial, I wrote it as kind of a rant. It took on a life of its own and all of a sudden the comments went from a dozen, to 30 to 80 and then over a hundred. Yikes!

    A lot of folks write a controversial post with the idea of strictly stirring up the pot to get huge traffic numbers. I think the real key is to determine a particular facet that you are very passionate about and let your heart do the writing. What can make a post like that take off is when you manage to strike a nerve. Choose a subject that has two distinctive sides and you’re well on your way.

    All it takes is a well timed tweet or two getting retweeted and chances are it will take off on its own.

    Hope this helps. Maybe we can collaborate on something in the future!

    George
    .-= Tumblemoose´s last blog ..Is your writing blog a success? =-.

  15. Beware what you wish for.

    I posted my simple view about new authors promoting their new book before knowing the business and how to promote their work. That they should not finish it before being properly prepared. Promptly one person attacked my right to have such a belief, whilst another blogged about the error of my thoughts.
    Like George, I handled it with respect for the others view points and I now count the second critic among my friends.

    However, the attack rocked me back more than I would have expected.

    If I wanted to be controversial, then I would look for a common subject/trend, look for the opposite view(s) and play devils advocate. Everyone loves a discussion, but don’t be surprised if someone attacks you instead of the content.

    George, wonderful as usual. looking forward to the next newsletter.
    .-= Andy Shackcloth´s last blog ..Sunday Wash-Up 28th June =-.

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