Networking Tip: Own your accomplishments

dentistA funny thing happened on the way to my root canal a few years back. I was sitting in the waiting room prior to seeing the specialty dentist when the receptionist asked me what I do for my work. I told her that I’m a children’s book writer, but then came the question I hate.

“Oh, that’s great! Would I know any of your books?”

The reality is, most strangers haven’t heard of me or my books, and I used to fumble the answer to that question every time I heard it. So I awkwardly mumbled something along the lines of: “Well, no, I’m not famous or anything, you’ve probably never read any of my…,” when she interrupted me.

“No really, just tell me the name of something you’ve written,” she encouraged.

I rattled off the first title that came into my head—my first book, Not Enough Beds!—and her mouth gaped open.

“I was just reading that to my grandson!” she exclaimed.

Honestly, I thought she was just being kind. I mean, what are the odds? But she proceeded to describe the book to me, so it was clear she had indeed read it recently! And when I showed up for my follow-up visit, she pulled a copy out from under the counter and begged me to sign it.

The whole experience ALMOST made the root canal worth it!

My point—and I do have one (to steal a line from Ellen DeGeneres), is that you should own your accomplishments (however modest) in networking situations. There’s no need for you to apologize for not being as well-established as another writer at the book conference, or for having fewer Facebook followers than the keynote speaker. Even if you are not yet published, you can still call yourself a writer if you dedicate yourself to writing. Project pride in what you HAVE accomplished, rather than apologizing for what you haven’t yet pulled off.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll even meet a fan in the most unexpected of places!




About Lisa Bullard

children's book writer, book promoter, writing teacher, writer in the schools, mentor, author of Get Started in Writing for Children
This entry was posted in Networking. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Networking Tip: Own your accomplishments

  1. Pingback: How Do You Measure Writing Success? | Mentors for Rent

Comments are closed.