As y’all know, writerly networking is one of my (many) soapboxes … the VanderMeer takes it to Networking 2.0 over at Ecstatic Days:
As the year comes to an end, I’ve been thinking about leverage, which I talk about in Booklife. But in Booklife, while I have a separate section on paying it forward and contributing to community, I’m not sure I fully tie the idea of leverage to the idea of paying it forward.
Your writerly “leverage,” as I define it, is a kind of political capital. You can amass it based on your visibility through your online presence and your books, published short stories, etc. It consists of intangibles beyond audience, too. The respect and affection others have for you affects your leverage–how people perceive you as both writer and human being.
You use leverage to make your projects, your books, successful–leverage breeds leverage–but it serves, or should serve, another purpose. You should use your leverage (or position or privilege) to be of use to other people in the writing community (or even outside of it). No matter what level you’re at, there’s something you can do to help someone else.
More VanderWisdom lives here http://www.jeffvandermeer.com/2009/12/28/paying-it-forward-paying-it-back-using-your-leverage/