Why this is a mistake: Writers tend to be introverts. We like to sit by ourselves and create with words. We’re not fond of crowds and gatherings of people. In a perfect world, we would create our masterpieces, send them out, have a check sent to us, and never have to leave our house.
That is also one of the biggest mistakes a writer can make. Early in my career I used to actually boast that I had never met my agent or my editor face to face. That writing was a business you could conduct without face-to-face meetings. It is, but not one you can conduct well in that manner. Writers tend to over-rely on e-mail. It has made us lazy. And it was stupid of me to sit at home and not meet my agent and editors face to face.
The solution: It’s always better to put a face to a person. It is worth the expense and time to make the journey to sit down and have a lunch with your agent, even if there is no specific business to be discussed. I’ve heard it said there are six hundred people in the publishing business. I think there are more than that, but the longer I’m in it, the more I keep seeing the same people again and again. I also know that I’m still in publishing not just because I learned the craft, but also because I got out of the house and made personal contact with people. I’ve gotten business deals because of some of these meetings. And it’s not just going to meet editors and agents. It’s also going to conferences, joining professional organizations, and even meeting other authors when they come through your town on their book tours. Get out there!