While networking has become almost essential for any career including writing, I am terrible at it. Whenever I try to deliberately network, I’m sure it sounds false. That’s even if I do it. It makes me very uncomfortable to approach editors, etc at a con or conference and pitch myself or my work. I have no trouble just chatting with people usually with no ulterior motive in mind. Often though, much to my surprise, these talks turn into networking opportunities. I have been asked to contribute to a short story anthology after having a casual dinner. I have been asked to contribute to a reference book because I knew the editor from a couple of conferences.
The most recent example came out of Comic-Con. I was wearing my Science Fiction Poetry Association t-shirt (In space, no one can hear you rhyme) and standing in a line. The man working at the booth saw the t-shirt and asked me about it. We started talking about writing and science fiction and fantasy and I gave him this blog site so he could look up the guidelines for a sf poetry contest. He did and then asked me to contribute to his own blog and a spot he calls Little Creative Interviews. I was happy to do it.
You can find it here.
And check out the rest of Scott’s website as well!