Category Archives: Community

Writer’s Sharing Good And Bad

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

As mentioned previously, I help run a group of writers who are current and future self-publishers. Each month we meet to discuss how to improve and focus on a given subject. Once again, I have a useful insight from the event.

In this case, our specific theme for November was thought-provoking – we discussed what we were our good and bad points as writers. The idea wasn’t venting or bragging – the idea was to see how we could help each other out. Someone’s good practices could make up for another person’s flaws.

So the first thing we did was go around discussing what we’re good at – and why. The results were productive because we went in-depth – not just what we did, but why and how we learned it. The group quickly had an idea of new ways to be better at writing and how to get there.

For example, we realized that several of us used a “when in doubt, power through” approach to writing. The idea was to write no matter what and edit later. Someone who spent three days straight writing an entire book’s first draft confirmed this worked.

And, yes, I am tempted to try that.

When we discussed our flaws, however, something became apparent. We had a lot of the same issues, just in different forms or manifestations. Not only did this build a sense of camaraderie – and relief – it let us share ways we dealt with our similar issues. We weren’t alone – and we had a wealth of tips to share.

I recommend this “Good and Bad” session for your writing group, team, meetup, or what have you. Come together, find what you do good and share it, see what you do poorly and help each other out. There’s a lot to be learned.

Now I have to find a free three days for an experiment . . .

Steven Savage

Making Friends As An Adult

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

I saw this fascinating Tweet thread when @itsashleyoh asked how people make friends as adult. This is something that’s often troubled me after college, and is an issue in ever-busy Silicon Valley.

Its hard to make friends past a certain point. You get busy with work. Some of your friends have kids and some don’t. Some of you are married and some aren’t. So I read the Tweetstream and added a few suggestions of my own. Think of it as my own way of combating some issues of loneliness all face.

Most of these are face-to-face, but a lot of this applies to online.

Here we go. Please add your own.

Hobbies

  • Have a hobby and follow it. This is good for you personally, and of course makes you more interesting.
  • Use that hobby to meet people with similar interests and go to meetups, drinks, dinner, etc.
  • Help people get into the hobby.
  • Hobbies also keep you from being boring and work obsessed.

Clubs

  • There are all sorts of clubs out there you can find via meetup, game stores, hobby stores, etc. Find some and go try them out.
  • When you can, help out at your club.
  • Take a position at a club.

Causes

  • Get involved in good causes, and help out. This is also good for you mentally and emotionally.
  • If you get involved in a good cause, you may want to be “on staff” – that means reguarly meeting people.

Conventions

  • Go to conventions and socialize.
  • Speak or run events at conventions.
  • Get on staff at conventions.

Go to places and hang out

  • Start hanging out at coffee shops, the library, gymns, etc. other places people gather. Sure you can write and read, but also its a chance to meet people.
  • Many places have regular events, bands, etc. Look for those.
  • Places you hang out may also have event boards, where people post different things going on.

Events

  • If you go to events, go early so you can meet people in line, getting drinks, etc.
  • If you go to events reguarly, help out.
  • Go to events people you know throw and make new connections.

Specific events and organizations

  • Many pubs and places have trivia events and other great social opportunities.
  • Game nights are popular at various establishments, including game stores, bars, and meetups.
  • Libraries have lots of events, including book sales that you can go to or help out with.
  • Museums have events and need volunteers.
  • Writing groups and various creative groups often do a lot of events.

Throw events

  • Throw open houses, writing meetups, etc. If necessary, used Meetup.com.
  • Do events for your club, church, work to nextwork with people you know.
  • Start your own Meetup.
  • Try doing “creative jams” at your place or nearby, where fellow writers/artists/musicians socialize.

Work

  • Your job may have events that connect you with others, not just those at work.
  • Find people you like at work and hang with them if you’re comfortable.
  • Places of work often have charity connections that you can get involved in.

Pets

  • Pets are a common shared interest. There’s parks for animals, clubs, and more.
  • There’s often social events for pet lovers.
  • There’s charities focused around pets to get involved in

Be prepared

  • Have business cards or “social cards” to connect with people.
  • Choose the social media you use to connect with people so you can network.
  • Meetup.com is invaluable.

Psychology

  • Be ready to reach out to people.
  • Rejection is OK. It happens to all of us.
  • If you’re seeing a therapist for whatever reason, they may have advice.

Be a good friend

  • Take an interest in others. It’s not all about you.
  • Help people out (don’t be used, just lend a helping hand)
  • Invite your friends to things. even if they don’t always show up, it helps.
  • Remember some people are in the same boat as you.

I hope this helps out.

Steven Savage



What’s Next For Cons 2: The House Con

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

In my last post on the future of cons, looking at “micro-con” replacements for small cons when areas can’t support them, Serdar mentioned a house party he’d hosted, as well as the way some bands had done basement numbers.  This let me flesh out an idea.

The House Con.

Imagine that, for a day, someone with a reasonably sized house makes it a mini-convention.  It’s open visitation (to invited guests) and the house is open for a set amount of hours, so people aren’t there all at once.  Then, you replicate a con in microcosm.

Of course you’d have a schedule, important so people know when to come, what to bring, and to let you use your rooms.  Events could be like . . .

Media Room – One room can be constantly running shows and programs, probably on a schedule.  It’s basically the video room, with one thing at a time.

Game Room – Set up a TV or two with some game consoles and go to town.  Several friends of mine do gaming meetups this way, so why not make it part of a larger event.

Con Suite – Set aside a room or the backyard for a place to hang out and socialize.  Let people connect and enjoy company.  This would probably be the kitchen or dining room so you can have food.

Cosplay – If you got a basement or backyard or want to shut down an event space for an hour, do some cosplay!  Why not?  Make it a bit of a costume party.

Art Show – People can of course put their art up.  OR you could get images of their art, put them into a rotating loop on a display program like Windows Photos and set up a laptop connected to a TV.

Panels – Why not have a few people speak on skills or do demonstrations or just have a discussion time?

Dealer’s Room – Friends selling stuff might bring a few things to deal in, or you could just have a giveaway or exchange table.

Library – Have a place with reading materials.  You could also take donations to create a Little Free Library for the con or with what’s brought in.

Sure its a house party taken in a geekier direction.  But why not give it a try?  Maybe you and your friends could even have one a month, rotating through different houses, ans getting that small con feel in microcosm.

– Steve