Is Networking an Ugly Word?

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Is networking an ugly word? It can be. If your idea of networking is becoming a walking sales pitch with your business card held out in one hand and a firm handshake ready with the other, you’re doing it wrong, in my humble opinion. On the other end of this idea, one can’t, as shown in the picture on this page, just assume others will befriend you. You do have a role in making friends and acquaintances to help your business.

In 2014, I published a book called Build a Writing Team. I wrote it because when I went to conferences, people would tell me how lucky I was to have a critique group or to have so many supportive writer friends. Luck? Not at all. Blessed, yes. But, I set out to cultivate, and have taken time to maintain those relationships. That’s because I don’t even see meeting and talking to people at conferences as networking. I see it as making and being a friend.

I have the opportunity to share my ideas on how to make the most of a conference experience when I present a class on Networking at 2 pm, Friday, October 12 at the Nebraska Writers Guild Conference to be held at the Aurora Leadership Center. I hope it will be fun for those who attend, and it is intended to shed new light on how meeting people at conferences can enhance your, and other’s conference experience.

We’ll do some group exercises and hopefully get a laugh or two out of my presentation. My hope is for those in attendance to walk out of the classroom with a desire to meet new people, to learn from everyone, and to help out their fellow-writers.

But enough about me! There’s a great line-up of speakers and I can tell you it’s going to be very hard for me to pick which sessions I will sit in on. So much to learn. And Nebraska author Alex Kava is the keynote speaker! She’ll also give a class on writing thrillers. I can’t wait to soak up everything she’s willing to share.

I hope to see you there!