Current Project: Leg Shaving Leads to Trouble
Status: In progress...
I apologize for the quite tardy post today. I was camping over the weekend and thought I would have access to a friend's laptop this morning with a cellular wireless adapter, but it was so windy we couldn't get signal :( Just got home and am posting now.
Lately I've been thinking a lot about writing organizations and the reasons people choose to join them. All groups and organizations go through membership growth and loss and often it seems to happen in batches. Many times those batches seem to occur around dues renewal, especially in these economic times. That causes one to evaluate what they are looking for in an organization, what they are getting, and if it's worth the cost.
Before I joined RWA, I didn't hunt around for an organization that suited me. I learned of RWA and made a decision to join that specific organization because my understanding was that it's the premier organization for romance writers. Although I didn't make a decision between multiple organizations, I still had expectations of what to get from the organization. I had absolutely no experience with romance writing and hadn't been reading romance for very long. Once I started reading romance, I realized that the genre was what I had been looking for as a writer.
I went online to learn more about romance writing and came across RWA. I was excited to learn there was a chapter in Salem so I went online to learn more about the group. This was about a week before the fall workshop (about four years ago I think?) [holy crap, I can't believe it's been that long - think of all the books I could have written by now! UGH!] so I bit the bullet and signed up for the workshop. I had a great time and went to the next meeting. It was wonderful to see people at so many stages in their writing. I then signed up for the first beach retreat that happened a couple of months later and learned even more.
The group seemed so open, answering any questions asked, sharing resources. There was no sense of competition or jealousy - everyone was truly happy for one another. As I learned more about writing, my focus changed to learning about the publishing industry and honing my craft. I was able to keep learning on those topics. I've been to a couple of national conferences and received a wider view of the industry within the country and the world.
It has left me wondering if there are organizations that provide so many benefits within other genres. I haven't joined other writing groups yet. I'd like to know - what do you look for in a writing group? What are the important factors? What keeps you from joining a group?