Someone once asked me how I could do so much writing. "It's a lonely life," she said, "and you're such an outgoing person who loves being in social situations." She's right about the second part. I am a very social kind of person who thrives on being with others. But I don't find writing lonely at all.
Instead, it's comforting to spend time at the computer composing new things and marketing others. I would never consider it lonely, because I have spread a net like a fisherman and can count many other writers in the catch. I know that's a stretch of the advice to network, but it seemed to fit what I'm trying to say.
It's great getting to know other writers. I learn a lot by listening to them, watching what they do to market their writing, and reading their published work. When you have a net filled with other writers, they share markets and also let others know about a bad experience they might have had with an editor. Maybe an especially good experience, too. Writers have a common bond with one another just like people who are in police work, or the military, or fashion design.
But what about the competition factor? Sure, we're all competing to get published, but it's certainly not a cutthroat kind of thing. If twenty of us enter the same contest, only one is going to come out the winner. That doesn't mean I have to unfriend a writer. If she wins and I don't, I'm happy for her and move on. I find that writers are more than willing to help one another.
This morning, a writer I met only a few months ago sent me notice of an anthology call for submission. It was not one of the anthologies we know about, but a single time anthology of short fiction. I'd never have been aware of it if my new writer friend had not sent it to me. Likewise, there is an anthology of Christmas stories, poems, and more that bought two stories from me. Had another writer not let me know about their call for submissions, I'd have missed out.
Increase your circle of writer friends whenever you can. Join organizations for writers, join a critique group, hop on facebook and post regularly. I've established contact again there with writers I hadn't heard from or about for several years. Go to conferences and make contacts there. Keep your name alive in the writing world and your number of writer contacts will only increase. Your net will be full.