Writing is typically a solitary activity, and it is very easy for authors to become isolated. I believe writers need to balance their time between the writing life and the social one. They need to focus on researching, writing, and revising, but networking and learning from others are also important to the writing life.
Here are some ideas that work to help with balance.
1. Find your group of like minds. Locate a writers' group for networking and idea sharing. My groups provide classes, workshops, seminars, networking, and book signing opportunities. I'm in several online groups, and they offer me training and critique group opportunities. To me, these groups are invaluable. The members are so generous with their time, and they're willing to answer questions and provide guidance. Just make sure that you're not over extending yourself by joining lots of groups.
2. My critique groups are invaluable for their feedback and beta reads. I am in an online one, and we exchange critiques via email. My other group meets monthly at a local library. Both of my groups are made up of mystery writers. That's my genre, and that's where I want to focus my time and energy. Some groups are open to all genres. Find what works best for you. I agree to review and critique their work, and they do the same for mine. It is an investment of time, but it is well worth it for me. I like the feedback from different perspectives.
3. If there isn't a writers' group in your genre near where you live, check out other genres. There are several writing groups in my area, and we often open our programs to the other groups.
4. Find authors who are similar to your style in your area to share author panels and book signings. I really don't like to do book signings alone. It's more fun when there are others . Plus, it's an opportunity to share your work with a variety of readers. I love going to events and meeting new writer friends.
5. Use social media for discussions, feedback, and research. You can find subject matter experts in a variety of fields to answer your questions. (Twitter is great for this.) Plus, it's fun to chat on social media with other authors and to share their celebrations.
6. Look for partnership opportunities with other authors (e.g. anthologies, boxed sets, special sales, guest blogs, and social media take-overs). These are great ways to share your work with readers with similar interests and to broaden your audience.
7. Look for volunteer opportunities. There are many groups that are looking for speakers and instructors for workshops. It's a great way to meet peoples (and readers). I am very fortunate that librarians and others contact our writing group with events that we share with our members. I've done programs at libraries, schools, senior facilities, and book clubs.
8. Take advantage of your library. There are so many resources there. And many offer programs that need speakers and instructors. Get to know your librarians.
What else would you add to my list?