Many would-be writers hope to succeed at their craft (as novelists, screenwriters, songwriters, advertisers, copywriters) without actively and aggressively selling themselves, without networking — in fact, without speaking to anyone.
We often tell ourselves this little fib: “I’m a writer, so the best way to market my [book/screenplay/magazine article/poem/other product of words] is to write pitch letters and emails, not to network and meet people face-to-face.”
That lets us convince ourselves we’re taking steps to advance our careers, when we’re really just hiding. In most cases success in writing… whatever that means to you (selling a book, getting an article published in a magazine, landing a copywriting job)… will happen only after you come out from behind your computer and begin engaging with people.
The same rules apply, I’d argue, for just about any endeavor you count as a goal, anything worth doing. If you simply mail a great idea to a lot of important people, then sit back and wait for them to come to you and make you a success, you’re almost certainly going to be disappointed.
Meet people. Network. Share your insights face-to-face. Put your reputation at risk. Face possible rejection. These are the only ways you’re going to achieve success — whatever success means to you.
Are these strategies out of the typical person’s comfort zone? Of course they are. They’re out of most people’s comfort galaxy. Which is why so few people use them.
Which is why you should.