Networking. A word that has the power to strike fear into the hearts of introverts everywhere!
But it doesn't have to be that way. Perhaps the easiest way to get started in overcoming your fears is to begin by finding someone else in the room who looks as uncomfortable as you, ask them some questions about themselves, and listen. It takes all the pressure off you, and other people like it. :-)
I talk about a few places to get started, a few not-so-scary places to make a few contacts or even new friends.
- Libraries - writer groups, reader events
- Community calendars with a list of events
- Community centers, senior centers, etc.
- Conferences - readers events or writers conferences
- National and international organizations - like Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and many more
- Online-only writing groups, or online-only chapters of larger organizations
- In-person or online critique groups or a single critique partner
- Volunteer at one of these events and meet people
If this still sounds a intimidating because no one really knows you're a writer yet, just put Your Name, Writer as your signature line in your email. Sometimes people reach out because they read your signature line and want to know more or share information.