Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Section Five: Joining RWA

After I got my shiny day job, I joined the Romance Writers of American (RWA) and got a subscription to Romantic Times magazine. I'd heard of RWA earlier (again, from Katie Mac, seriously need to send her a thank you email), but the hippy asked me to wait until I got my first paycheck to sign up. Because as you may know, it ain't cheap. In fact, if it weren't for my local chapter, I probably wouldn't have stuck with my national RWA membership. Like any organization, you get what you put into it. If you put effort into taking workshops and going to conferences and joining area or special interest chapters, you get all kinds of benes. If you don't, all you get is a very expensive monthly magazine.

I was nervous about attending my first chapter meeting. I'd taken a few narrative writing classes in college so I was familiar with the idea of group critiquing, but I wasn't sure what to expect. I'd stumbled across their website, but it hadn't been updated in a while and I wasn't sure if they were still active (I later learned they'd lost their web mistress and no one was comfortable with managing the site). I emailed the contact on their site and started corresponding with HiDee, who is one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. When I went to the first meeting I knew right away that I had no reason to be nervous, because they're a great group. I love my chapter. :) They're all very talented, amazing women. I ended up in charge of their website, because I had previous experience running the EotP site for so long. And now I'm also the vice president/secretary.

The moral of the story here is writing is solitary, but it doesn't have to be. It's a great thing to have support, to have people who share and understand your passion. If you have the chance to join a writers' group, take it.

Next episode, I talk writing workshops.

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