Many would-be writers hope to succeed at their craft (as novelists, screenwriters, corporate copywriters) without actively and aggressively selling themselves, without networking — in fact, without speaking to anyone.

We often tell ourselves this little fib: “I’m a writer, so the best way to market my [book/screenplay/magazine article/poem/other product of words] is to write pitch letters and emails, not to network and meet people face-to-face.”

That lets us convince ourselves we’re taking steps to advance our careers, when we’re really just hiding. In most cases success in writing… whatever that means to you (selling a book, getting a copywriting job, publishing a short story)… will come only after you come out from behind your desk and begin engaging with people.

Writing a compelling query letter is one great tool to help advance your career as a writer. But it’s just one tool.

Meeting people, networking, sharing your insights face-to-face. These are useful tools too. Out of the typical writer’s comfort zone? Of course. In fact, they’re out of most writers’ comfort galaxy. Which is why so few writers use them.

Which is why you should.