If you have the opportunity to attend a writing conference (highly recommended), here are a few tips to help you make real, lasting, and memorable connections with other writers.
1: Ask questions! Most writers love to talk about what they write, what they’re current project is about, their favorite books, and what they’re currently reading. I read about a guy who went to a wedding and didn’t know any of the other guests. At the end of the night, people were asked who their favorite guest was. And you know what? They said that guy! And do you know why? Because he asked people questions. All night long, he just asked others about themselves. And people loved him for it!
2: Listen! Don’t ask questions about what others are writing JUST so people will ask YOU about YOUR writing. Pay attention to people’s responses and then…ask more questions!
3: Be genuine! Be interested and friendly, but be yourself. Be interested in making new friends. If you’re only talking to people so you can network to further your career, that’s lame. And a lot of the time, it’s pretty darn obvious!
4: Smile! Sometimes simply having an open expression on your face or a smile can be enough to invite conversation and new friendship. Maybe your smile is just what someone needs to see in order to feel comfortable taking the seat next to you in a class.
5: Seize opportunities! Are you stuck in a long book signing line or find yourself waiting for the instructor to show up? Talk to the people around you! Maybe you end up at a table for lunch with people you don’t know. (Maybe you purposefully sit at a table of people you don’t know! Which is an excellent idea, by the way. ) Now, remember to ask questions, listen, be genuine, and SMILE!
Erin Shakespear writes silly pictures books and middle grade fantasy full of quirky creatures, magic, and strange adventures. After all, they say, “Write what you know.” And with six kids, her days are full of…quirky creatures, magic, and strange adventures.