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Welcome to my blog, SCRIBBLING TO (IN)SANITY! First time here? I'm a romance writer who wants to believe most problems can be solved over coffee, a mixed drink or by anything covered in chocolate. I'm a believer in second chances and that it's always the right time to fall in love. As the saying goes, you're a guest in my house only once...then you're family. So I invite you to join the fun! I love comments but it's okay to lurk too - just know I'm glad you've found me and I hope you visit me again soon!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Writing Groups, Coffee & Belonging

Ten years ago, my wonderfully supportive husband set me up in the basement of our old house with a computer so I could finally stop talking about writing a book and actually sit down and right one.

Two years later with pages and pages of beginnings and no endings, I found my way online to the EHarlequin site, made a few online friends, discovered yahoo groups and the RWA.

Within a few short months, I was a card-carrying member of the national group and had found my way to a local Long Island chapter, the LIRW.

Before the year was out, I was secretary of the local chapter and I'd met two wonderful ladies online (Jennifer Shirk and Cynthia Selwyn) and together we formed an online critique group, The Passionate Critters.

 For a girl who didn't join a single club in high school, I'd somehow become a joiner! And loved it!

Over the years I've been a member of many online chapters of the RWA, groups either specific to my genre or simply online groups that offered interaction for a stay-at-home mom bursting to talk "shop" with everyone and anyone. (After all, no one understands a writer, like a writer!)

As my local friendships grew, so did my time away from home. Monthly meetings, weekend conferences, brainstorming sessions over coffee at the local Starbucks! I can't count the number of times we say, "let's have coffee and talk about that plot!" Or work out dialogue. Or straighten out a query letter...My Keurig at home gets a workout too when the ladies crash at my house for a night of twitter lessons or website basics!

I've been on committees, I've chaired committees. I've served on the board of my local chapter. I've helped create and grow a thriving online critique group that I'm thankful for everyday!

So, this year with finances in my house not in the best shape...I considered giving up the writing group memberships.
Groups that have been a lifeline for my writing persona for the last 8 years. I think I cried more than a few nights anticipating the void.

Although many of the friendships I have made over the years have transcended the memberships and the actual groups - those groups still pull me in. They offer shoulders, cheers and advice. The meetings and workshops always teach me something new I can use to create fresh work. They inspire me on a continuous basis to write and fight off the demons sitting on my shoulder telling me I'm no good!

I am fortunate, I have a VERY supportive family. But, no one understands a writer like another writer!

Over the last few weeks this girl who's become quite the joiner over the last 8 years, just couldn't quite kick the habit. I'm happy to say that even with finances being tight, I renewed and all my groups will be putting up with me for another year!

How about you? Are you a joiner?






10 comments:

  1. I'm a member of ACFW - the national group and my local group. I love the ladies in the local group and refuse to give it up, even if I'm not writing Christian fiction right now. I have a brand new online critique group, which I love :) I've considered joining some additional groups, but I don't think I have the time for them right now.

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    1. You're right, I think finding the right balance is important. I like to be able to really be a part of a group I join, and if I join too many there aren't enough hours in a day :)

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  2. Boy could I relate to this post! I finally had the money to renew my local chapters through the RWA when I realized that the RWA renewal itself would also be due in just months. Like everyuthing else, the fee has gone up quite a bit. I'm already thinking of ways to save that money up or at least justify it since I'm not earning money as a writer right now. Hopefully by May I'll have the answer. But like you I've made so many friends, served on committees and just don't know how I would get by without the camaraderie. Times are tough for us all but there are some things maybe we should splurge on. I'm calling my RWA membership a mental health necessity LOL!

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    1. I LOVE this - a mental health necessity! :)

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  3. Confessions of a joiner? Yep. I didn't think I was, until the memberships lapsed, and the groups fell apart. Then I realized how much I enjoyed the support of other writers. It's truly become a necessary part of my life that I won't do without. :)

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    1. I know, you think you don't need the support until you go without it..lesson learned!

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  4. OMG, the header is GREAT! Whooohoooo....

    And yes, I'm a joiner. When I join, I join hard. Do I occasionally bow out? Yes, I have been known to unjoin...but while i'm there, I'm a 100% kind of girl. :D

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    1. Getting that header centered was a job! Thanks for noticing!

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  5. It's so true! As much as I can talk to my hubby about writing, no one understands what we go thru like another writer.

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  6. Glad you were able to work things out and you are able to stay in all those groups. says the past president of LIRW. :)

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