By Abigail Green
As a typical introverted writer, I am not a natural networker. So it was with some surprise that I realized that this year much of my work has come from networking.
Since to me that word conjures up anxious situations filled with small-talk and the exchange of business cards, I actually don’t consider what I do networking at all. Rather, I’ve just been doing what does come naturally to me – keeping in touch with former colleagues and friends, reading and commenting on various blogs, sending people links or articles they might find interesting and useful.
The result? A new corporate client, my first acceptance to be published in an anthology, several freelance markets I didn’t know about, and a couple of teaching opportunities. And all these opportunities came to me.
Another thing that’s surprising is that these leads didn’t come from my closest or most well-connected friends. One came from a former boss I haven’t seen in years (yet another reason never to burn bridges!), and another came from someone I’ve only met online.
I have to give myself some of the credit, though – I keep myself open to opportunities that come my way, and I make a point of being polite and professional in all aspects of my work. Still, it’s encouraging that even a networking-averse writer like me can get ahead simply by being myself!