Over the past few years I've started used email as a tool. Not to confirm a booking, or communicate with clients (though of course that is useful) - but to reach out to people. I stopped feeling bad about asking for advice and trying to make connections and I've since formed some amazing friendships and career highlights with a simple email to a talented woman.
I met Anna who introduced me to Milani Gallery and the Institute of Modern Art. I replied to an email from Amanda and it led to a project with The Conversation. I emailed Gabby and we've since traipsed around New York and discussed pizza toppings at length. A comment here and there on Meg and Elize's blogs, and now we drink cider in the afternoon and plan weekends away. A email to Leanne led to a creative kinship and LA sleepovers.
And most excitingly - my talented friend Alex and I are currently in the process of organising a national event for creative women and over the past month we've reached out to women we like, women we admire, and women we want to learn from internationally - women whose careers have inspired us to create our own. Well guess what? They all responded with support, joy, advice, and plans for hugs and tacos in LA.
The best kinds of emails lead to lady dates and they are everything that typical internet dating is not. You've been introduced via mutual interests, outlooks or tastes - so there isn't any of those bland discussions. Instead - after a few outings you feel as if you have possibly known this woman your entire life, and all of a sudden you have someone to confirm your experiences, send you that great article, look to for advice, tell you about the best lipliner, fill in the gaps and foster our confidence in ourselves. Stevie MacKenzie-Smith post 'The Women Are Emailing' discusses the same experience - and likens it to Consciousness Raising in the late 1960's, where women "gathered in their New York apartments in the late 1960s and went around the room, talking about their lives and shared issues, giving a voice to feelings previously felt below the surface." Quietly, consistently - women are still sharing and learning from their collective knowledge and experiences over email, in a tweet, and in online groups.
So, if there is someone you would like to get in touch with - just click send. The worst thing that can happen is that they don't respond - and if that's the case, it's their loss. Make good things happen!