As I mentioned before, Friday will mark my 200th blog post. This may not seem like such a milestone to some, but for me, it’s quite a feat. To honor that, I’m going to blog about things I’ve learned since my first post in June 2009.
Today’s post is for those who I’ve come to “know” since starting this crazy trip towards publication. I never really thought of writers as having their own community, but that quickly changed when I joined RWA, FF&P, and SOLA. I’ve tried other chapters, other on-line communities, but nothing seemed to fit as well as these three organizations.
RWA is filled with knowledgeable people and information is usually just a click away. I’ll be attending my first RWA conference this summer and I can hardly wait. Oh, I have no doubt my brain will be exhausted by the end of the conference, but knowing I’ll be able to listen to some of my favorite authors explain what they’ve learned…well, it’s priceless. The connections made through these events are beyond important for any aspiring author.
FF&P is filled with my peeps. This is the best chapter ever. Not only are the people involved wonderful and friendly, but they’re also writing in the same genre that’s so dear to my heart. Their program 60 Days to PRO helped me reach PRO status and made me determined to keep at my writing even when rejection nearly had me beat. It’s through this chapter that I’ve run into some fabulous people who I can’t wait to meet at The Gathering. Their triumphs feel like my own and I couldn’t be happier for them when they post good news.
SOLA is my local chapter. I haven’t been to a meeting in several months because of this wedding, but they’re a wonderful group. I was able to chitchat with several of them at my first conference and they made me feel welcome. I didn’t feel embarrassed to say, “I’m a paranormal romance writer” because they understood. That was the coolest thing ever.
I also met some ladies from the GCCRWA, though I’m ashamed to say I don’t remember who they are now except for one person. Hey Paula, how you doin’? LOL. My memory is atrocious, but they were gracious and friendly when we shared a table at the New Orleans conference. However, when I returned from that conference, I found myself drawn to this sassy blog written by sassy ladies who turned out to be from the same chapter! Yup, you got it. The Southern Sizzlers feel like my sisters whom I’ve never met. They’re a great group of gals and if you’ve never checked them out before, you really should.
Then, if you consider all the fabulous people I’ve met through Facebook and Twitter, I’d have to blog for another hour. I won’t, don’t worry. What I guess I’m trying to say is that without the support from all of these wonderful people, I probably would have given up on writing after my first manuscript flopped.
The days of being a solitary writer are over. I’ve discovered it isn’t good for me and if you’re an aspiring writer as well, don’t let yourself become so wrapped up in your fictional world that you shun the support, friendship, and knowledge that comes from joining writing groups. These people are either in your shoes, or they’ve been in your shoes and they’re more than willing to share what they’ve learned.
Are you in a writing organization? What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received from another writer?