Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Longing for the Connection


Confession: I used to belong to RWA (Romance Writers of America). I also belonged to our local RWA chapter where I served as treasurer, vice president, and president. About three years ago, I decided that I no longer liked dealing with bylaws and business meetings and talk of fund-raising. I just wanted to write. Unfortunately, my focus became more and more on the business side of the group than the writing itself. This led me to leave the group.

I also moved away from writing romance. There's a myriad of reasons why, but the main reason is that I became disillusioned with the genre itself. While I am a romantic at heart and my novels will always have some sort of love story involved, it's not the major focus.

What I enjoyed the most about my writing group, however, was the members. I am still friends with many of them to this day. Unfortunately, we hardly ever get together and discuss writing.

Blogging, Facebook, and message boards are great for connecting with writers around the world. But there's something to be said for meeting with a group of writers face-to-face. You gather energy and inspiration and creativity from each other, something I've found incredibly hard to do online.

So I'm toying with the possibility of trying to form another writer's group - but this time, the focus will be solely on writing. No bylaws, no fund-raising, no business discussions or trying to figure out Robert's Rules of Order - just writing itself.

I need that connection with other writers - in person.

Do you belong to a local writer's group
? Why or why not?

14 comments:

  1. I belong to my local RWA chapter, and I love it!

    But several of us meet on a weekly basis for coffee. We catch up on writer/publishing gossip, trade ideas, and sometimes even get work done. Notice I said, sometimes!

    Maybe some of your buddies from RWA would be interested in something similar? It's informal and fun. Try it!

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  2. I whole-heartedly believe in the power of a group to create, motivate, and inspire. I belong to two groups that help me to stay accountable to the actions I have said I would do to achieve my goals. I'd love to belong to a writer's group though. May you find the perfect fit for you.

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  3. I do and I love it. There's nothing like the face to face and a brainstorming session. It's electric.

    I'm glad you're looking for a new one and I wish you great people, great ideas, and great times!

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  4. I belong to the RNA and go to the annual conference and the occasional talk, which I always find useful. It's also a great way to catch up with like minded people.

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  5. Oh wow. You sound like me several years ago. I, too, belonged to RWA for years, but quit because the genre wasn't headed in a direction I liked. Currently, I'm not in a group although I think one would be beneficial. Just haven't found anyone to work with yet.

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  6. Unfortunately, I don't. There just isn't a writer's group near me. But I completely agree with you. Writers need other writers. The trials and tribulations involved in putting words to paper (or screen) are just too unique and too overwhelming at times to be shared with "normal" people.

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  7. Jill - I've toyed with the idea of asking some of them if they'd like to start an informal group. I might just do that!

    Lynn - Thanks for stopping by! I hope you're able to find a good writing group, as well. :-)

    L.T. - Ooh, yes! Brainstorming sessions are amazing! I love those.

    Debs - Being around like-minded people is so invigorating, I think. I need that "energy" right now. Hope I find it!

    Susan - Thanks for visiting! I hope you'll be able to find a group, as well. It's difficult, isn't it, because you just never know how you'll all work together. I am thinking there is a certain amount of trial and error involved.

    Hi Billy! So glad you stopped by. I like how you referred to non-writers as "normal" people. LOL. It's definitely true that I don't share the most personal aspects of writing with my non-writing friends and family. They'd never understand!

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  8. I don't belong to a writers group. I guess I like the freedom of being on my own. Now, I do belong to the ACFW, but that has a removed sense of belonging to it with me.

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  9. I was part of one, probably still am, but I don't know. I feel that most writers are essentially very individualistic. The only time they'll like being part of a group is if it doesn't clash with the vision of the story they see.

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  10. I've been a member of my writing group for about 12 years, and I can't imagine writing w/o their feedback and support.

    I hope you find some like-minded folks to get a group going!

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  11. T. Anne - I agree - I like the freedom of being on my own, too. But there are times when I just feel the need to be around other like-minded individuals. Maybe it's just to reassure myself that I'm not crazy. ;-)

    The Orange Cat - Thanks for stopping by! I think you're right - writing is so subjective that if you belong to a group that doesn't see your story as you do, you'll definitely have problems.

    Christine - Wow, 12 years! That's awesome!

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  12. I'd LOVE to have a writers group in person, but there's just nothing near me. When I was at the conference in Dallas I was so envious of the DFW Writers Workshop members, that is a phenomenal group of writers and made me wish I could commute 6 hours for meetings! LOL. I did meet a great group of ladies there though, and we have formed an online alliance of sorts. Still not the same as face to face though. You're right!

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  13. I'm a member of the California Writer's Club, which is a great club for getting resources for publishing strategies. It isn't a workshop for works in progress however. I would like to get with a writer's group that focuses on readings, but the problem I have is that most of the groups I've encountered focus on fiction, and I'm writing a memoir.

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  14. I ran one for over a year and miss the person-to -person contact but I started working and ended it. WIsh I lived closer, I'd come!
    (so are you really back with your ex???)

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