by Jargon Writer

Writing my way to becoming a freelancer


Once a month, for the last 5 months (minus January where I was out-of-town) I have trudged 40 minutes out of my way to Greenpoint, Brooklyn. My destination? Word. Word is a great little bookstore located at 126 Franklin St. where I joined a book club some months back.

I first learned about Word through Marian Schemari’s blog, where “bookavore” aka Stephanie, Word’s manager, wrote a fantastic comment on Marian’s post. And the more I learned about this little bookstore, the more I wanted to support it in some way. This little bookstore was doing everything right – as a business to business writer, I really admire indie businesses who “get it.” Word gets it.

Unfortunately, a 40 minute trek is a little long whenever I want something to read, but fortunately, Word has a book club (and a ton of other AWESOME events). So I joined.

I had never been part of a book club before. The closest I’d been was my college literature classes, which, as an English major, I took many of–the first time I attended a book club meeting, I had only managed to get the book a few days earlier. I’d rushed through reading it, so that I could at least say I had read the whole thing. But that didn’t matter. I left book club feeling incredibly mentally stimulated and really … happy. I had found people who, like me, loved words.

And every time I go back, I leave with that same feeling. Being around people who love what you love, talking about it… it’s an incredible feeling.

In Parker’s book she writes that we should network with other people who do what we do–other writers–even though they are our competition. She says that doing so gives you someone to fall back on should you get sick, be unable to take on an assignment, or should some major tragedy befall you.

I agree that it’s important to meet people who are passionate about the same things you are. But not for business reasons. Instead, I think it’s important because being around these people reminds you why you love what you love, and why you do what you do, which isn’t always easy to remember when it’s Thursday, you have four assignments due at the end of the week and have already pulled two all-nighters since Monday.

Even though I don’t know how many, if any, of the people in book club are actually writers, the important thing isn’t networking per-say. Instead, its being about to talk about what I love in a pressure-free environment; and meet some great people while doing so.


April 9, 2010 - Posted by | Freelancing, in practice, writing


  1. Your description of being in a book club makes me want to join one, but people are particular and definitely know what they like and what they don’t like.

    For instance, I’m a fan of documentaries and romantic comedies and prefer to go to the movies with other people who like them too. I’m curious if you know if book clubs have specific genres associated to them? How does the group choose which book to read? Is it one individual or does everyone vote.

    Book clubs are fascinating. I want to learn more about them and give it a go.

    Comment by Andrea V. Lewis | April 9, 2010 | Reply

  2. For me, one of the things I like about this particular book club is that it encourages me to read things I might not otherwise. Since graduating I tend to buy things only in the genres I know I like; which means I’m missing out on a lot.

    Our book club is run by the bookstore, so Stephanie decides what we will be reading. but at some book clubs it is up for a vote. And there are definitely book clubs that read specific genres. While doing marketing for an author I was working with who wrote horror I was surprised how many book clubs were specifically devoted to horror.

    Either way, they are totally worth it. I look forward to book club for most of the month.

    Comment by mbreau | April 10, 2010 | Reply

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