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?