Playwrights and screenwriters are invited to social "mixers" with potential producers, directors, and the like. We are expected to pitch our ideas and somehow collaborate well despite many of us preferring solitary creativity.
I've skipped most local events for the last two years. I simply cannot bear to be in social settings, much less tolerate the drive towards the city. The cost of my lack of interaction with others: no productions. No readings. Nothing.
If you aren't "out there" with something in hand, as well as attending the shows of other writers, you aren't going to be produced. Again, there are exceptions, but networking skills matter in the regional arts.
I can't do it. I don't like small talk and I answer questions too bluntly.
If anyone needed a representative to deal with humanity, it's me. I want to be left alone, maybe with a small select group of people I trust. Overall, I just want to write and not be bothered with chatter.
For at least 18 months, if not longer, I have spent my time at home. This is where I want to be. I do not want to be in the city. I do not want to attend any shows or concerts or events. No dinners, no mixers. My ideal place is in my chair, reading a book (print or digital) with a cat on my lap.
But, that's not really a career path, is it?
I should try to be social again, but it isn't going to happen. I'm too tense in the city and too bitter to be around people. For now, avoiding people does less harm to any future plans than if I were to try to network.
What I must do is work alone, from home, on projects. I realize that. I can collaborate from home and let my collaborators be the networkers.