Saturday, September 5, 2015

I Fail at Networking

A Facebook friend shared a link to this article by Jeff Goins on Medium:
The Unfair Truth About How Creative People Really Succeed

As I was reading the article, I got thinking about my biggest failure as a creative. I am NOT a people person and I am NOT good at making meaningful and lasting connections with other people. I've actually burned a lot of bridges and cut off access to a number of so-called "gatekeepers". My failure at making more than a mere handful of meaningful and lasting connections with people in the writing/publications world is one of the reasons I've decided to take a hiatus from doing work for publications so I can concentrate on art for my stores. That way, I can bypass many of the publication world "gatekeepers" and sell items featuring my art through various online stores. The publications side of things just wasn't doing enough for me, and I know some of that was my own fault for not being able to make enough meaningful connections.

I can sell merchandise featuring my artworks and designs internationally through Zazzle, CafePress, and Redbubble. I do so on a regular basis. I have also seen a number of poems, stories, and articles published in a variety of small-press publications. I've even had some works in "best of" anthologies. And yet, I can't seem to take my writing to the next level. I have some stories up in the Kindle Store, but other than copies I bought for myself, I've sold all of one copy. The reader who purchased that copy did give the story a five-star rating and left a positive review, but I just can't seem to sell my stories like I sell stuff featuring my art. Why is that? It might be because I just don't have much of a network behind me, supporting me, promoting my works. I do think there is something to this idea that networks and connections are key to success as a creative. It certainly seems true in the realm of creative writing.

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