the power of networking for writers
This week I’m gearing up for next week’s trip to Toronto for the MagNet conference and PWAC annual general meeting, so I’m going to talk about networking.
If you’re a Canadian freelance writer, you should be a member of PWAC — the Professional Writers Association of Canada. I’ve been a member since 1997 and it has truly helped build my career. I’d say that 70-80% of my work as a professional writer has resulted from my membership in PWAC and the connections it has enabled me to make and build on. For more on PWAC visit www.pwac.ca.
PWAC has partnered with MagNet for the past 2 years and held its national conference in Toronto to coincide with Canada’s major magazine publishing event. But the interesting thing is that although most of PWAC’s members began their careers as magazine or periodical writers (in fact, the org used to be called the Periodical Writers Assn of Canada) in the current marketplace, not many of our members actually make their livings from periodical work. Most have branched out in other forms of writing including corporate work, online writing opportunities, and book authoring. But they still dabble in periodical work … because, for the most part, it is a very pleasurable form of writing. Unfortunately, it is no longer all that profitable because so many publishers have enforced all-rights contracts that limit the author’s ability to earn a reasonable income stream from his or her work.
Thus, an ever increasing importance of networking and professional development in the life of the professional writer. MagNet has made its programming very flexible and includes professional development sessions on “Transitioning from Magazine Byline to Book Author,” “Blogging for Money,” and “Building Your Net Worth by Building Your Networks” among other stimulating topics for writers, editors, designers and publishing administrators. The MagNet conference runs from June 1-4. For the full schedule see, www.magazinescanada.ca/magnet/.
For my thoughts on last year’s MagNet conference, please take a look at the June 10/09 post on this blog at: http://doreenisthewizardofwords.blogspot.com/2009/06/magnet-was-blast.html. And if you use the search tool on this blog, you’ll see that there are no less than 5 posts on the theme of “networking.”
There is no question that networking has been — and will always be — a huge part of my life. It has advanced my professional life, helped me forge strong friendships and alliances, provided me with fascinating volunteer opportunities that have taught me new skills and provided me with the fodder for my latest book. For more on “Before You Say Yes …” please visit my website at this link:
What about you? Are you a big believer in the power of networking? Has it helped build your career? Introduced you to some terrific new friendships? Made you a better person? I’d love to hear your thoughts.