Isn’t there a better word?

I don’t particularly like the term “networking” unless you’re talking about computer cables and fiber optics. When talking about meeting, working with, and being real with other real humans, “networking” sounds mechanical and shallow. But whatever we call it, connecting with others who care about the written word makes me feel like I’ve just woken from a great night’s sleep, brain rested, abundant sunshine in the forecast.

I spent last week at the Antioch Writers Workshop, among writers, editors, teachers, and readers who care about the nerdy things I care about, like near-perfect metaphors, mining memory, and squashing clichés. Midweek, that thing happened when time feels like it’s accelerating, and I realized the workshop would be over soon. I got really sad, because I want to spend more time among people who concern themselves with words, sentences, images.

I’ve known, worked with, and adored various writers for a while now, many of whom prop me up when I’m drooping. Many are my beloved people. And last week, I met and mingled with others who, I hope, will expand this constellation.

I am trying to convince myself that sending thank you notes is not on a continuum with stalking, and that if I received a handmade card from another writer, I would be glad.

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2 responses to “Isn’t there a better word?

  1. I hate the word “networking” too – it is a practice that still feels very fake to me, as I am not naturally good with small talk.

  2. I am not good at small talk either. Someone wrote that small talk leads to big talk, but still…it’s often so excruciating. And because I am relatively shy, I get nervous, so I often start babbling. Oh well.

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