Meditations | networking

an old meditations I thought I was relevant

I know networking is vital to becoming a good writer. (Heck, it’s pretty useful for any field.)

But my trouble is that I have a lot of questions about it. And not only networking but just general social questions.

For example, how do you speak to people on the internet? Are you more direct or should you try to be positive? How about in real life? How do you know when you’ve made a connection with someone?

I personally feel guilty asking anyone I’m aquatinted with to do any favors for me, unless I’ve shown goodwill and support to them. If I haven’t been nice or useful or involved in their life, why should I ask anything of them?

But because of that I have trouble understanding “business acquaintances”. That is, the method of forming ties with people you admire and like but aren’t intimately involved in your life. How do you do that?

And more importantly, how do you make “business acquaintances”, since I think that’d be useful in networking. I ask because it’s so ingrained in me that it’s rude to ask anyone for their time.

It’s just hard to grasp when it would ever be okay to ask for help in my life or to ask for others to promote, advise, or read my writing. Especially since I’ve rarely ever gotten feedback (let alone the drafts I’ve given out) back. It’s like I’m always talking to an empty wall.

And if I do find someone who is mildly interested in reading and commenting on my writing, I feel I can’t really discuss it with the person, because s/he has a real life, with real obligations and real concerns. And I’d be terribly rude and inconsiderate to want anyone to pay attention to my writing. Hence, why I have to be extra nice and positive to anyone who pays attention to me. Then, once I’ve shown enough support and usefulness, maybe, maybe, I can’t ask them for something.

I would also like to add that I don’t expect anyone reading/editing/whatever my writing to spend every waking moment doing it. That’s impossible and I totally get that. It’s more a matter of how okay (not guilty) I feel about asking anyone to promote or look at my writing.

Or maybe I’m just totally missing the boat on social interactions. That’s very likely, too.

I wonder if my attitude stems from studying kinship systems in anthropology. You don’t get anything until you reciprocate others.


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