Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Actually, it IS Personal

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been given a lot of reasons to reflect on personal connections and how important they can be to my career. Or anyone’s career, no matter what they do. In fact, connecting with people can potentially have an enormous impact on our personal lives as well.

Here’s the thing. When someone knows you, remembers having a conversation with you—however brief—you become a person rather than a random face in a crowd. And believe it or not, it’s a lot easier to think compassionate, fair, happy thoughts about a person you’ve actually met, as opposed to a random face you’ve never seen.

Easier to think good things, and harder to think bad ones.

Easier to respond positively rather than negatively.

Easier to understand that person, well, personally.

For instance. Say you’re querying agents (or editors or publishers), and somewhere along the way, you’ve met one. Spent a little time talking to that person. Made a connection with something the two of you have in common, or even just had a good discussion about business. You see them as a human being, and they see you in the same light. Then, when you send that person your query, they think, “Hey, I remember her.” And even if they must ultimately reject you, they’re far more likely to do so with a personalized note, maybe some advice, and perhaps a recommendation that you submit to XYZ who might be a better fit.

This can potentially extend your reach to other networks, other avenues, other possibilities. All because you took the time to talk to that one person when you had the opportunity.

The same thing can happen in any situation. Even if nothing huge ever comes from those connections, our lives will most definitely be richer for them.

Think about it. What connections have you made that have made your life (professional or personal) fuller?

7 comments:

Cindy M Hogan author of Watched said...

I totally agree. While signing at Costco, I am constantly reminding myself that this isn't about selling books,it's about making connections-making friends. I've made so many new friends in the two days I've signed, it's incredible.

Matthew MacNish said...

You make such a great point, Nichole! It's kind of like in The Silence of the Lambs, when they talk about repeating the name of the kidnap victim, so the the killer will think of her as a person.

Well, obviously it's not that dark or disturbing, but kind of similar.

Carolyn V said...

I totally agree with this. I met an agent who wouldn't have given me a second look, but after getting to know each other, she is know willing to look at my work. Whoop!

CL Beck, author said...

Good post. Knowing people and having them know you makes a huge difference to an author!

J.R. Johansson said...

Yes! So, heartily agree with this. As you already know...so now I'm just saying things you already know...because I'm useful like that.

P.S. The sky is blue, fyi.

Angie said...

It took me a long time to learn that lesson. Too long. But I'm making lots of great connections now and taking advantage of all my opportunities to do so.

Shanda said...

Making connections in this author/reader/blogging community has certainly been a highlight in my life. It's so fun making new friends. :)