"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Creative Connection...


“I get by with a little help from my friends.”

No doubt about it, writing is a solitary, do-it-yourself profession. Unlike other careers, you can’t get ahead through office politics, a good support staff, nepotism, affirmative action, or bedding the boss.

Success comes solely to those who work hard, have a talent for the written word, are business savvy, and have the determination to go the distance. Of course there are a few “bad writers” that slip through the cracks, but they are indeed in the minority. Talent aside, sometimes, as the famous expression goes, “it’s not what you know, but who you know that counts.”

And that’s why it behooves you to choose your friends wisely! I admit, I have been truly blessed by the creative Gods to know folks that make my job just a little bit easier!

They would be the equivalent of the supporting cast members of an award-winning movie or sitcom. Here, (drum roll please...), they appear in their
respective roles, not necessarily in the order of importance.

* THE FRIENDLY LIBRARIAN---- My friend Deb holds the position of Head Librarian at a major library in my city. When I’m pressed for time, or don’t know which web site to use as a resource for my research, she’s the person I call. A recent S.O.S. to her regarding statistics needed for a book proposal, gave me the “411” on specific titles listed in Books in Print. Her extensive knowledge and willingness to be on my “team” helps me to be a winner in my creative pursuits.

* THE LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHER--- Picture the possibilities.
You have an article that would be a sure sell with accompanying photos. You have a book signing that you’d like to capture shots of for your scrapbook or
marketing materials. You need a headshot for your web page or book cover. And he needs to be “Johnny on the Spot”: that’s my guy Hurley.

* THE BEEN THERE DONE THAT WRITER--- My writer buddy, William, has been successfully published and is even a best selling author! We’ve actually never met in person, but became pen pals about 8 years ago, when he sent a letter of praise to my editor regarding my work. When it comes to publishing, he knows the ropes! I get insider’s tips that you can’t find in any book! It wasn’t deliberate on either of our parts, but I’ve found that establishing an affiliation with someone who is a little further down the literary path than you are just makes good business sense. And to my good fortune, he’s a real cool, down to earth guy as well!

* THE CONSUMATE CHEERLEADER! I can count on my Mom when periodic rejections convince me that I’d be better off joining the circus! In addition to being a big fan, she’s also brutally honest. Every writer needs that. I know that no matter what, she believes in my talent and wishes the best for me.

So if your goal in 2010 is to become more widely published, consider expanding your social network, and discover the many benefits of the creative connection!

If you know someone who has been a key player in your success, why not send them this post along with a word of thanks.

What's your take on this topic? Any "friend" that I forgot?



  1. Jennifer: I think this is great advice. It is so important to have a strong team and people that can be a source of inspiration and knowledge. It is amazing how much you can learn just by asking questions and learning from the people around you. I appreciate your recommendation to send a shout out and gratitude to your support team. It really is important. Thanks for the reminder :)

  2. Jennifer Brown BanksOctober 16, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    Hi Sibyl,

    Glad you found this to be great advice! I wouldn't trade my "team" for all the players in the world. :-) Thanks for taking time out to weigh in. :-)

  3. Ah yes, where would we be without this kind of support? My brother in law is my library connection. Having worked at my old county library for many years, he's a great help, even long distance.

    My writing mentor, MaryAnn, also lives in my former state (NJ). What a treasure she's been over the years.

    Susan is my blogging mentor and through that, good friend. She and I toss projects back and forth often.

    My kids got the artistic and photography genes, and I'm very thankful; they help me out a lot. Hubby and kids are my cheerleaders, as are my blogging/writing friends (present company included:)

    Thanks for reminding me about the treasures I have right by my side. Perhaps I will send this along, or at the very least, write them all a note. With real paper.

    Happy weekend,

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksOctober 16, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    Karen, this is good to know. Sounds like you've got a lot of supportive blessings and some awesome connections. I'm glad to be counted among them. :-)