Howard R Smith 'My Story'


Howard R Smith


My name is Howard R Smith, I am seventy-three years of age and all my of working life I worked as an engineer at sea and on land. 

In 1993 I had a bad accident caused by a security guard. My left hand was crushed which bought about my parting with engineering. 

I had always had joy in reading crime novels and one day thought, I wonder if I could write one?

So I did. 

Trying to get it published I sent the copy away and after seventeen rejections I gave up and the manuscript lay for ten years in the spare bedroom which was being used as a store room at the time. 

One day, she who must be obeyed (the wife) said that it had to be sorted out. During the clear out I came across the work and thought should I or not try again? I did and the rest is history. 

I had my first novel published “One Too Many” then the second “Lightning never strikes twice” (fitting title!) and third “Kiss me goodnight” and I am currently writing my fourth “The Silence of Fear”.

My publishing company Athena Press and agent have agreed for and commissioned a further three. 

I was asked to write a post for Writer’s Digs to share my story. The post is short but the length of time it had taken to get published wasn’t. What I have to say to all of you who are writing and feel you are getting nowhere is never give up. It took ten years for me to get my first novel published and look at me now. 

I wish you all every success and I hope to write an update in the future. 

Howard R Smith

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Networking for a Writer: Impacts and Importance

Networking is the art of reaching out to people with the same interests, thoughts, views, and opinions as your own. It’s basically under the umbrella of ‘it’s always who you know.' Networking is the foundation on which we grow to any measurable length. Whether you are a social or antisocial person, an introvert or extrovert, tolerant or intolerant in nature, what you need is a fuel that will drive you to your terminus. The mindset of ‘it is who you know’ is taking roots, and just like online marketing, it will spread far and wide. Nothing proves to be more valuable to a writer, like their ability to network.
Calling out to people aimed at thrusting you a step further might sometimes prove to be difficult but again, who ever succeeded without patience at hand? Many writers tend to find inspiration within and may consider reaching out a breach of their privacy and solitude. Indeed, who doesn’t fancy the pleasure of being caught up in their own world? Creativity and imagination are always based on a personal state of meditation, but we cannot underestimate the impact and importance of networking to a writer.


The Impact

We must agree that without networking, creative writers and creative writing would not exist. Networking, whether short term or long term, has its impacts on the lives of writers. For starters, networking enhances personal interactions. The need to reach out to another, as hard as it might sometimes be, enhances co-existence. Even virtual interactions should still be treated as physical, focusing on the ultimate goal of having a cemented relationship with a soul that can propel you to your desired aim. These interactions may lead to a fruitful manoeuvre, with both parties having an equivalent share of the desired pie.

Interaction skills are the building blocks of networking. Knowing how to respond to a particular question or handle a certain situation increases your networks and ability to network. Accomplishments and adulation do not just flow in, your work and the rapport you build must speak out for you. Even if your work shuffles up the cards for you, the degree of charisma you hold seals the deal. Networking gives you a platform to showcase to a wide range of people what you’ve got to offer, thereafter, giving them a diversity to pick from. Fundamentally, networking provides and nurtures credible relationships.

Networking instills virtues that are long felt, whether forced or willingly encrypted in a person. For example, holding yourself back once an interested party triggers a rude response influences your self-control. Similarly, countering a critic that may vividly depict a personal attack, instills self-discipline. Secondly, once you develop a characteristic of not nagging or disturbing a client to the point of quitting on you, it inculcates patience as a virtue. Being patient enough to deal with an irritating client and even possessing the ability to give the necessary information they seek helps you build a network. These incidences create an image of your personality for the network you created. Mind you, it always works heavily in your favour.

Joining social media communities and platforms as a form of networking exposes one to a wide range of opportunities. This kind of networks provide a variety of benefits in regards to your position as a writer and they can, with no doubts, offer grounds for sharpening your skills. Viewing other people’s work in relation to yours helps you polish the blunt edges i. e. alter where need be. These platforms also provide opportunities for one on one interactions with fellow writers, therefore, an array of ideas to exchange and a fertile land for your growth.

The Importances

Writers tend to be a bunch of lonely people, engulfed in their world where words are their shield and guards.  Most writers tend to be satisfied with their inability to reach out, afraid of the unknown. Networking, on the other hand, tends to fill in this gap. Afraid of what is waiting for you at the other side of the door? Try reaching out to it instead. Talking to other writers is likely to fill the void created by your small office, lack of a boss and co-workers, or even the office politics that brighten up those in-office long hours. Networking gives you a grip, especially when you are in need of that Midas touch.

The realisation of new opportunities with the help of other writers is by far the best idea about networking. We should never underestimate the importance of new concepts. Networking helps in identifying the great minds. Besides, interactions involve a lot of assimilation and replacement, and this doesn’t exempt writers. As you talk to other proficient writers, you can pass hints in an attempt to get them to return the favour. This will lead to the writers passing on more hints, creating a wide platform for you to navigate on, hence, helping you to straighten the crooked edges. This renders you more viable with time.

Welcoming similar minds in your sphere of influence grants you the opportunity of seeking for help or clarity where need be. It gives you a podium where you and other writers can brainstorm on an issue and preferably come up with a solution. For example, just in case you have to sell an idea and you have no clue of where or how to start and go through it, the network you created can navigate you through it. The devising of the differences, contradictory ideas, and sentiments will ultimately trigger a solution that you seek. In an instance when you post an article or a particular commentary on the social communities and platforms, there is a guarantee that someone will be interested and will undoubtedly respond to it as needed. In short, networking helps you propel your ideas fast and easy, as compared to the solitary confined state we somehow tend to favour.

The ultimate aim of airing your work to people is to please them and make sure you attain the preferred standards. Being among the best and also being the most sought out is what we all, as writers, take pride in. That kind of status is not easy to achieve. It needs hard work, perseverance, tolerance, sacrifice, and risk-taking. How do you know of the milestones you are making in your chosen field of writing? Feedback. As simple as the word might sound, the weight it carries is indisputable. Knowing how good or bad you are doing to some people sounds like a bitter pill they wouldn’t want to swallow, but in this case, it is mandatory. Networking is finding people of similar interests and mindset as yourself, who will be honest with you and this will trigger your growth.

Conclusion


Network marketing has become part and parcel of our society. Embracing it is inevitable. Writers have not been left behind too, network marketing is important since it has its benefits. 


Alice Jones is a tutor and freelance writer Breezewriting, who is interested in education, blogging and sharing her ideas. She also loves inspiring and motivating people and has spent the last 5 years improving and helping the others to improve. Follow Alice on Twitter, Google+, or find her in other social media, pop in there and say “Hi” to her!