Hie Thee to a Network of Social Origin (That does what you love)!

In Craft, General on October 22, 2009 at 10:14 pm

I tire of labels pretty quickly, and I already find myself bored when I hear the phrase “social networking.” It’s not the actual thing I take issue with–I quite enjoy my networks, social and professional–but I’ve always had a little bit of the nonconformist’s tendency to eschew something I hear over and over.

I hope this makes me a good cliche killer in my writing, too.

Anyway, my point–I swear I have one–what new thing can be said about social networking that other sites like aren’t saying already?

Well whether or not what I have to say on the subject is fresh or new, I’ve responded to a striking number of emails and phone calls lately from writers, some completely starting out for the first time, and others who are newly on the path, asking for direction and guidance. And I’m finding myself giving the same advice over and over:

Hie Thee to a Network of Social Origin (That does what you love)!

When I first started to get serious about writing, before Twitter and Facebook were megabytes in their founders’ hearts, I joined the Zoetrope Writer’s Studio–where writers critique each other’s work for free and join groups to discuss the craft. The writers there are 100% responsible for teaching me how to write a bang-up query letter, which ultimately scored me an agent (two, actually). They are responsible for helping me polish every short story I published up until about 2003. Several of the friends I made there are STILL my go-to critique buddies when I have finished a draft of something. It was the single most profound virtual experience I have had to date…I credit much of my writing success, both fiction and non-fiction, to the people who supported me there.

So first, of course, all non-luddites should use Facebook and Twitter and Ning and Linkedin and the bazillion social networking sites I’m totally clueless about. But it’s also really great to find networking sites that specialize in what you love to do, a gathering of the specific geeks and freaks of your trade/hobby/craft, people of your ilk, who will support you to do what you love.

  1. Reading about the Zoetrope writing group made my heart ache – I have been longing for something like that for awhile now.

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