Weekday Wisdom Episode 106
Do you have a community of colleagues that support you in your work? You might be surprised how important this can be.
In today’s episode, I continue from where I left off last week with my interview with Joan Gelfand. Today’s topic is community and how a community of colleagues helps you be a better writer, creator, businessperson.
CARMA SPENCE: The third “C” is community. I know what that word means to me and what I think it means in marketing. What is your take on community and why did you include it in your four “C”s?
JOAN GELFAND: I included it because I realized that just being in a room writing wasn’t going to be my ticket to success. I met someone who brought me into the Women’s National Book Association and I learned more from those people that I met in that group about what it took to be a successful author, sending out newsletters, making things happen, and building up your reputation. I had to put in community because it was a nonprofit organization that I volunteered for, but I got more from it than if it was a job.
CS: Right. You’re looking at community throughout the process. Because what I immediately thought was you have to have a following. That’s your community … the people who will read your book and buy it. But you’re thinking of also the community of people who nurture you as a writer.
JG: Yes absolutely. And, also what I’ve found, and I’ve talked to other writers who agree with this, a lot of times once you build up a strong community, you will hear of opportunities that you might not have heard of had you not been in that group or community. And what I talk about in the book is out of my seven books that I have to this date, five of them go back to use someone I met or someone that told me about someone who I met in the Women’s National Book Association. Not all like a friend of the group took my book and published it. No. It was a lot more indirect things, which I don’t want to go into now because it’s too long. But I’ll just say indirectly a big proportion of my working through who I was networking with and volunteering for and learning from. Yeah.
CS: That kind of plays into the whole idea of craft. I remember listening to Ray Bradbury speak once, and he talked about how you have to read a lot not only in your own genre but outside. And you also have to live life, have experiences. And that works for both nonfiction and fiction, because when you’re writing you’re going to call on those experiences you had with the people in your community, your family, your friends, your colleagues. Sometimes those experiences will help you come up with a new idea for a new short story or a novel or an article. So, yeah, having that community around you adds to the craft and the who you are that you bring to your work.
JG: Yes, and that community often becomes your first fanbase. Even before you get to build it on social media and … they become your — what do you call the girls with the pompoms?
JG: Having cheerleaders is really cool when you’re first starting out, because you’re getting your sea legs.
CS: And even when you’re not starting out. I mean my latest book is my fifth book. But I still need my cheerleaders, because I still have my moments of doubt. Every time you come up with a new project you think, “Well, am I good enough for this project? Will I be able to bring this vision that’s in my head onto the page?” Which is part of the reason why I’ve never really done more with my fiction because I’m always not quite confident in my fiction writing skills even though that’s how it started as a writer. I started writing fiction at age 4.
JG: I’ve heard stories like this.
Next Week: Joan will answer the question: “Why did you include confidence in this book?”
In the meantime, if you enjoyed this video please give it a thumbs up on YouTube. And write a comment below.
And remember this: In order to be effective in your life and business you need to think outside the box, spread your wings and fly, because you — yes you — are capable of more than you know. And that’s especially true if you have a community of colleagues who are supporting you and cheering you on.