I've spent the last couple of days at the Taos Summer Writer's Conference. A great event in a lovely, if touristy, town. Writers, poets and publishers ascended the 8,000-foot terrain to mix, mingle and meet.
That's what writing is about: who you know.
Every writer I've ever spoken to says the same thing. Thankfully, it's not about dropping names (this may help at times, I suppose). One of the keys to networking is to meet people for who they are and not what they might possibly - some day - get you. I've met wordsmiths I never knew; now I'll read their work and learn from them.
I have a very jaded acquaintance who likes to point out all the pitfalls in the business. No doubt, there are many. And that philosophy can be overlaid to just about any industry. Instead of dwelling on what can't be changed, why not meet others who know the ropes, can tell you of the perils of the climb?