The simple things don’t require connections to people who have already “made it.”

Last week I touched on the power of simple hand-written notes.

Some of the responses I’ve received have been along the lines of not being able to obtain the contact information of well-known, “made” individuals or not physically being able to do the handwriting.

I get the latter. As I age, my hands tire. Gripping the pen is harder. Typing is easier. The point is just to connect. One reason I like Brett McKay so much, and often find myself referring people to his site “The Art of Manliness” is because every now and then I’ll receive an email from him, asking what’s up. How are things going? What’s new? It’s a bonus that what he shares on his site is great information. Who am I to Brett other than a publicist wanting to pitch clients, but . . . He keeps in touch and I very much appreciate the kindness.

As far as reaching out to made individuals goes . . . Don’t start there.

Start with a neighbor.

Start with a friend.

Start with a relative.

Don’t be fake.

Build a relationship with them. Don’t do it because you’re building up for an ask. Do it because it is a good thing to do. Friends and relatives and neighbors can be a great source of feedback in addition to being great supporters.

Invite them into your life—and take a genuine interest in their lives.

Over the past 17 years of working in a home-base office, this is the piece that I’ve struggled with the most. It takes time and energy—and when you’re working at home, you’re the employee and the boss, the secretary and the cleaning service, and so much more.

You have to be the relationship builder, too.

Go to lunch with a friend.

Meet a neighbor for coffee every now and then.

Call that aunt you haven’t seen since your were 8.

Create your own community and you’ll find that they’ll be there for you when it counts. Just be genuine and remember that it goes both ways.

AND THEN .  .  . After all that, expand your community. You’ve got to build a base first.

Posted in

THE WAR OF ART

Read this one first.
It identifies the enemy—what I call Resistance with a capital “R,” i.e. fear, self-doubt, procrastination, perfectionism, all the forms of self-sabotage—that stop us from doing our work and realizing our dreams.
Start here.
Everything else proceeds from this.

The-War-of-Art

DO THE WORK

Steve shows you the predictable Resistance points that every writer hits in a work-in-progress and then shows you how to deal with each one of these sticking points. This book shows you how to keep going with your work.

do the work book banner 1

THE AUTHENTIC SWING

A short book about the writing of a first novel: for Steve, The Legend of Bagger Vance. Having failed with three earlier attempts at novels, here's how Steve finally succeeded.

The-Authentic-Swing

NOBODY WANTS TO READ YOUR SH*T

Steve shares his "lessons learned" from the trenches of the five different writing careers—advertising, screenwriting, fiction, nonfiction, and self-help. This is tradecraft. An MFA in Writing in 197 pages.

noboybookcover

TURNING PRO

Amateurs have amateur habits. Pros have pro habits. When we turn pro, we give up the comfortable life but we find our power. Steve answers the question, "How do we overcome Resistance?"

Turning-Pro

11 Comments

  1. Mary Doyle on October 12, 2018 at 5:34 am

    “Do it because it’s a good thing to do” is my takeaway from this thoughtful post! We need to connect with others more than ever in these divisive times. As always, thanks for helping my Friday get off to a great start Callie!

  2. Julia on October 12, 2018 at 6:36 am

    Thank you Callie, this one resonates with me.

  3. Joe Jansen on October 12, 2018 at 7:15 am

    Brett McKay and “The Art of Manliness.” Who ELSE is going to show you how ram your way through a vehicular roadblock?

  4. Evelyn Starr on October 12, 2018 at 7:35 am

    In addition to support and feedback and other future benefits, I find connecting regularly counters the feeling of isolation from working in a home office. I try to schedule at least 1 coffee or lunch appointment a week. I look at it not only as relationship building, but also as preserving my mental health.

  5. BarbaraNH on October 12, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Sweet! Thanks for every Friday’s great start, Callie!

  6. Sue Trumpfheller on October 12, 2018 at 10:18 am

    A few years ago you sent me copies of Steven’s book to send to my grandson, a student at Emerson.
    Just to bring you up to dated, he is graduating in December 2018 with a 3.92 GPA.
    He has also been on the editing staff of several Poetry magazines.
    Thanks for your support those years ago.

  7. Susan Setteducato on October 13, 2018 at 6:38 am

    Callie, What you’re talking about here is being human. Being how we used to be before all the distractions of 24-7news and celebrity. I love it!! Being human is what we write about and it’s what we need to experience in order to do that well. IMHOP. Thanks for this.

  8. Louie hernandez on October 13, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Callie having the feeling of being able to go out even if you feel on got here on accident or your not at the right place is no accident…it’everything I attracted to us by our thoughts even where I’m sitting now, the rain, the chair and the peace of mind is amazing.
    Thank you,
    LH

  9. Brian S Nelson on October 13, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    Callie,
    I think it is Brene Brown that said, “Connection is the irreducible human need.” One of the reasons I have always gone to the YMCA or gyms on post to workout. It is plugging into my community. The relationships I’ve built over the past 25 years, in short 2-3 minutes chats between sets, or in the locker room, are profound. After reading Gladwell’s ‘The Tipping Point’ in 2004, I realized that I’m a connector. Hard wired. I think connection is both easier for me, but I need it much more than others.
    bsn

  10. Creig Sigurdson on October 13, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Thank you Callie, I struggle on my journey to be a writer and storyteller. And I forget that while these stories are screaming to get out of my head on to the page, that my neaighbours and friends whom I’ve shared my dream are a great resource for encouraging me as I struggle. They become my grounding beta readers and steer me back after I go off the rails. Turns out they are proud of me as I grow as a creative. So having some anchors with my friends about my self doubts and how grandiose I become is very helpful. Plus you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.

  11. Tuseet Jha on October 20, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    This is spot on! And as I grow older, I am recognizing the importance of keeping in touch, whether it is professionally or with family (both distant and not distant). My perception has shifted from there will always be time to meet them and attend their functions to I never know when I will get this opportunity again!

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