The “Shop Local” movement is hitting its stride. And writers, even those without local clients, cannot forget that making local alliances is just as important as maintaining regional and national relations. Last month I talked about the importance of joining regional and national professional associations. This month I’d like to talk about going local.
Connect with other local writers, and make sure each literary person you meet knows you are open to connecting with their local writer friends, as well.
Are there local writers meeting in your hometown or within a short distance? Why not join them? You might hear about a local critique group you’d like to join.
Is there a local social or educational event for writers that you can attend? If you’ve set your sights on authorhood, you’ll want to start connecting now with everyone local in the book-selling or book-circulation business. This includes both booksellers and libraries.
If nobody else is hosting a literary event, why not you? Sure, it takes time and energy, but hosting a local literary event will act like a magnet that attracts other literary folks in your area into your sphere. Besides, who doesn’t like meeting like-minded people? I always enjoy meeting fellow writers.
Make it your mission to meet and introduce yourself to everyone who is involved in the literary scene where you live. Here’s a little checklist to clip and post near your computer screen. It’s not hard to meet one person per week. Why not make that your mission?
Your Local Allies Include:
__ Local Writers and Authors
__ Your Local Librarians and Administrators
__ Your Nearest New (or used) Booksellers and Bookstore Event Planners
__ Your Local Literary Event Organizers (Check libraries, community centers and schools)
Christina Katz is the author of Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Build an Author Platform and Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids (both for Writer’s Digest Books). She started her platform “for fun” seven years ago and ended up on Good Morning America. She teaches writing career development, hosts the Northwest Author Series, and is the publisher of several e-zines including Writers on the Rise. Christina blogs at The Writer Mama Riffs and Get Known Before the Book Deal, and speaks at MFA programs, literary events, and conferences around the country.