Whether your a published author or an aspiring writer, it is important to network.
When I first started writing, I didn't network at all. Didn't really know about it. Or even think about it.
And then one day, I queried an agent who actually gave me some advice on places for writers to go. I followed her advice and went to these websites. One was writers.net and the other was absolute write water cooler. I went, had my first few pages critiqued, cried, and then rewrote.
I can never thank that agent enough.
I continued to join sites and eventually hit twitter (where I would like to add you actually win contests--I even won a contest to have my first ten pages critiqued by a wonderful agent and my first pages are much, much better).
From twitter, I ventured to Yalitchat hosted by Georgia McBride which is a wonderful site full of helpful advice and the most awesome peeps ever who have a common interest with me--writing for middle grade, young adults, and new adult genres.
I also met peeps that we exchanged manuscripts and critiqued them. It was a wonderful way to learn, to see others peeps writing, to give advice, and to even rewrite small segments to maybe help them get an idea on how to improve.
And even though I was an avid reader to begin with...the best advice I ever got was to read. Only this time I didn't read for entertainment (well actually I did) but I read to really study the novels. The way these published authors wrote, their voices, their imagery they used. The best learning tool there is.
My novel might never get published, but I do know one thing, My writing has improved drastically.
So be sure to get out there and get involved. It really does help. :)