Friday, January 21, 2011

Name Dropper or Networker?

Are you a name dropper? While talking with someone do you try to impress with who you know?

That drives me nuts.

When I'm at work, citizens call in to complain or have a police report taken and in mid-sentence will let me know they're either friends, neighbors, or third-cousins twice removed with a lieutenant or captain at the department.

I want to scream, "I don't give a flying flip-flop!"

But, one of the lessons I've learned through the process of writing a book is this: Who you know does matter.

Are you wiping down your gummy kitchen counters in worn fuzzy slippers and daydreaming about your big writing break? Do you read books or magazine articles and think, Why is this writer so popular? They're not even that good.

I've wondered some of the same things myself. You know what I've discovered? Sometimes it's who they know.

How will you ever find your way out of your kitchen and into the cross-hairs of those who can help you with your writing dreams?

  • Blog - Blogging is HUGE. It's a cheap and easy way to get your words in front of an audience. The quintessential "self-publishing" experience. Your writing will receive instant feedback. Good or bad, you'll be critiqued by those who comment and learn very quickly if your words can make a difference.
  • Conferences - Attend a writer's conference. There's no better way to meet the publishing world. Mount Hermon is a wonderful example of a solid writer's conference. Find an event where you have the ability to meet and network with agents, editors, and authors. I can't impress this enough. Find a way to attend one. 
  • Critique Group - Get around people who speak your word-language. Go out and find other writers like yourself. I belong to the best Christian writer's group in the U.S. Filled with a myriad of fiction, nonfiction, devotion and article writers. A motley crew of gifted people who not only critique my work but inspire me to great things. 
Once you begin meeting people either online or face to face, you'll be name-dropping in no time. Because, just like our walk of faith, it's all about relationships.

Don't think name-dropper, think networker!

I thought I'd name-drop share a few friends/mentors/ I've met through blogging, conferences, and my critique group. They've been instrumental in my personal writing journey.

Don Towle, Tiffany Stuart, Sue Tornai, Elizabeth Thompson, Dana Sudborough, Elaine Olsen, Angie Knight, Celia Bonino, Rachelle Gardner, Glynnis Whitwer, James Watkins, Tonya Stoneman, Chris Pedersen, Karen O'Connor.


Terri Tiffany said...

I do believe it is so important to build relationships with other writers. I know many writers who will take the time to help me and it makes all the difference in the world.

Terri Tiffany said...

I do believe it is so important to build relationships with other writers. I know many writers who will take the time to help me and it makes all the difference in the world.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Trust me when I tell you that "dropping my name" won't get you much of anything!!!!!!!!!!

It's a curious business, this writing odyssey we're on. A dream for certain, but like you said, a ladder of seemingly endless loopholes that seem to have names attached to them. A bothersome aspect of the entire thing to me; still and yet, as with most avenues in life, a necessary thing to move forward.

Love you friend. Keep me posted.


Sheri said...

Ok Joanne...I'll do those things. And I WILL be dropping your name because it's one of my favorites!

Mary said...

The whole name dropping, networking thing just escapes me. I just want to hang out with everyone I meet. I want to know your story and hear what God is doing in your life -- and I want to laugh with you, because this life is funny and strange.

And if it's okay with you, I think I'll drop your name all over the place!

Kathy S. said...

I love those girls. :)
Glad God hasn't called me to write a book. It sounds like a pain in the bottom. lol.

I'll just keep buyin' them! :)

karendalycook said...

I wouldn't drop my name if I were you...but I am thrilled to say my friend Joanne has a book coming out!

Chris Pedersen said...

Check...check...and check! Thanks for dropping my name along with the ever prolific and funny James Watkins (and others). I am humbled. I drop yours, Joanne, every time I speak with a busy mom.

tiffany @ tea with tiffany said...

:) You are a real friend. A real friend doesn't withhold the hard truth and freely offers encouragement. Your name is royalty. I know Joanne Kraft's name is in the Lamb's book of life. That's what matters most.

I love you!
Keep writing and wrestling. I've got your back.

Tiffany, who may be nameless on earth but who's name matters to Jesus. Only by His grace!!

Mariel said...

you're right...but I am thankful I can know One by name who is the best agent you can get ;)

May the Lord opens doors for you, my friend!!

Sue Tornai said...

You made my day. I can't believe how quickly you've made a name for yourself and one I can drop on people. :) Thank you! I found another nice thing about getting to know writers is I find their bylines when I read magazines and books. When I do, I take time to send off an e-mail. It's so cool!

Rebecca Bany said...

Great blog! I'm ready to step out there!


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