I finished reading Never Eat Alone a few weeks ago. I haven’t reviewed it until now because I’ve been trying to implement some of the suggestions made in the book.
My immediate response to Keith Ferrazzi’s book was complete enthusiasm. I do think this is a book that every writer needs to read — we seem to have a tendency to do well in fairly solitary work environments where we only see our families for long stretches of time. Many of us, myself included need a reminder that there are plenty of people out there who not only can help our careers along but can help us stay happy in our lives.
One of the best points I can make about this book is that it focuses on creating real friendships and relationships with people you meet throughout your life. While there is an underlying theme about how contacts may make your life easier, Ferrazzi is careful to make it clear that he’s not suggesting that readers aim for the biggest address book in the world. Instead, he suggests that cultivating friendships, and making a point to strengthen them over time, is a far more helpful technique than picking up business card after business card.
I’m not going to regurgitate the whole book — I’ll leave it at the fact that I think it’s a great resource and I’ll be picking up a copy to refer back to (I borrowed it from the library initially). But there is one quote that I think will get the attention of most writers: Ferrazzi thinks journalists, freelance or no, are the one of the best contacts that other people can cultivate:
Journalists are powerful (the right exposure can make a company or turn a nobody into a somebody), needy (they’re always looking for a story), and relatively unknown (few have achieved enough celebrity to make them inaccessible).
Those three points also make it easy for us to find new people and get to know them, and to stay connected. Think about it, and read Never Eat Alone.