Network: the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.
Networking is important in work and life. Think about why you're doing this challenge. Is one reason to meet other authors?
Writing can be solitary, but we still need others to edit and publish our ideas. In medicine we use it to be able to access information and services. I think we can agree we need to network. But how?
- Use all forms of communication. Social media's good, but also have real face time. Talk some. Listen more.
- Be kind. When you're face to face it's easier to reign in the conversation but on facebook and twitter it's harder. Remember you're trying to promote yourself professionally. People really don't care if you're doing laundry or at the car wash. When you post, say about others as you'd have them say about you. You can't take it back.
- Join groups. I'm in our local writer's group--the Bayou Writer's Group. And I'm in NAPNAP and LANP, and Sigma Theta Tau--three organizations for nurse practitioners. Get to know people in the field you're interested in.
- Find a mentor. They can introduce you to the right people and model what you need to know.
- Keep a notebook, note page on your phone--some place to put new and old people.
- Go to conferences. Catch up with old acquaintances and meet new ones.
- Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Walk up to someone at a meeting and introduce yourself. Not everyone will want to be in your sphere, but that's okay. Be open to both rejection and acceptance.
- Be sincere.
You may be thinking but I don't know how to talk to people. The only way to do it is to do it. At first there may be some awkward moments and you won't add everyone to your list. That's okay. Keep practicing. It's worth it.