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Like many other people in the publishing racket, I’ve spent much of my life writing, researching, editing, studying, rewriting, reading, and doing other essentially solitary pursuits. I looked at people who spent most of their lives socializing, and I thought, “Well, they’re not getting anywhere. But me, I’m building a career and a body of work.”

Now, I’m looking for a new job, and the best advice that comes my way is, essentially, one word: Network. Get out there and build relationships.

It’s good advice. Hiring managers want to bring on candidates whom they already know and like. I’ve gotten some jobs not just because I had certain skills but also because I’d left my desk, waded out into the populace, and showed people a personality that they wanted to work with.

It’s tough to admit that the socially adroit people whom I’ve looked down on (and secretly envied) have not only had more fun than me but also paved a better career path.

But I ain’t out yet. I networked my nethers off at the San Diego Comic-Con, and I’m not stopping there.

I am declaring to all of my friends and colleagues: If we’ve been out of touch, let’s renew the acquaintance. Let’s have lunch or dinner. Call me just to chat. E-mail me about your new projects.

I am determined to open myself up to the world, and not just for my career, but because doing so is a good and healthy thing in itself. Besides, in thinking about getting out more, I’ve realized that I really do like my friends (imagine that) and really do want to hear from you.

See you soon, I hope.

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