Three months ago, I didn’t know either of them existed.
When my agent urged me to join Twitter earlier this year, I read enough books and articles to recognize Twitter as a necessary networking tool for a debut author.
But what I didn’t know is how quickly I’d form friendships that didn’t involve putting anyone in a headlock and demanding they buy my novel.
There were no headlocks last Friday evening. No pillow fights in our underwear, either (I think we’re saving that for next time). It was just a fun chance to connect with two terrific women – one who flew 2,900 miles to get there – for great food, wine, and laughter.
|Debra (@dlschubert), me (@tawnafenske),|
and Kristina (@quickmissive)
I’ve swapped 140-character notes with them for only a few months, and we’ve already filled each other’s wine glasses and admired each other’s lipstick. And though it was a blast, it reminded me that meeting in-person isn’t a requirement to forging lasting connections in writing communities.
Michelle Wolfson has been my agent for over two years. She’s propped me up after rejections, squealed with me over our shared successes, and coached me through a phone call with an editor in which I was fairly certain I’d either cry, puke, or accidentally spew dirty jokes.
But I’ve never actually met Michelle. Not in person, anyway.
And it’s been six years since I first connected with critique partner Cynthia Reese when we were both unpublished authors on the Harlequin message boards. We’ve worked together through book deals and failures, through good manuscripts and bad ones, through bleak times where we both said, “Screw it, I’m quitting writing to become a lap dancer.”
(OK – maybe that was just me).
And though we’ve shed real tears for each other through both personal crises and writing ones, we’ve never met in person.
I thought of this the other day when I heard an author lamenting the difficulty of finding someone local to critique with. It reminded me how lucky we all are that we have the ability to connect with other writing professionals using only a few mouse-clicks. Lurking online, you can find critique partners and beta readers, build support systems with other authors, even
I can say with absolute certainty you can forge amazing connections even if you never actually meet any of these people in-person.
OK, there is one advantage to the in-person meetings. Check out what Kristina brought me after reading this post I wrote last week:
|A backhoe of my very own, courtesy of Kristina! Just like the real thing. Pretty much.|