Networking is important, but it’s not the same as “improving as a writer”

It helps us writers to know each other. The world of writing is one that requires constant work to remain within. Networking with other writers is a way of doing that.

But, being friends with an exceptional writer is not the same as being as good as them. That’s like if you said, “I have Elon Musk’s email, therefore I will send a Tesla into space next week.”

I’m super proud of that analogy for the following reasons:

  • The weakness of the connection to Elon Musk.
  • For you to be successful, you’d have to do exactly the same thing he did.
  • The idea that repeating his exact actions would make it as big of a success the second time around. It’s like saying, “It’s not important that I do good, original work, only that the work is done by me.”
  • It completely disavows the hidden decades of hard work that might be necessary to accomplish something that appears simple on the surface.

I only heard of the guy a few years ago, by which point he was decades into a career as an entrepreneur. That’s much the same as many top writers I read about: they’ve published a few books but have been writing for many more years than I have.

We must respect all that hidden work. Almost every successful writer today has f**king earned it.

Saying you’re a writer today is to say that, despite the many many other people out there writing, and all the literature already available, you have something sufficiently original to say—and you are good enough at saying it—that your writing deserves to exist. Vertiginous af!

The act of submitting something for publication implies that the above is true, whether you’ve even thought about it. Don’t pretend you think your story’s worth a damn: you do think it. Act like it!

On the other hand, as big as this is to imply—regarding the originality and competence of your writing—that’s all you have to imply about it. Don’t let arrogance convince you that you’re way way more amazing than anyone else. No one has a guaranteed acceptance coming. If you think your amazingness as a writer protects you from that, you’ll fall hard, become bitter and angry and a dick of a person to be around.

It’s implied by the fact that you present yourself as a writer and submit pieces for publication that you know what the hell you’re talking about. The skill of your writing, and nothing else, will prove your worth as a writer. Listing shit you’ve read, or people you know, as if its equivalent to writing skill… ugh. Just do your damn job.

Again, it’s possible to do everything I’ve written about so far as a writer without understanding it. But quantifying things keeps you sane and improves your chances of doing something properly. Delusions make us unstable, make it anyone’s guess if we’re doing something properly or not.

Stay (blog equivalent of) tuned for a new harsh truth asap!!