Before I started seriously pursuing a writing career (translation: actively crafting specific stories with the aim of publication, instead of just puttering around on various projects), I was operating in something of a vacuum.
I was lucky to find an online community or two, and then sort of by chance I discovered that there was a local RWA chapter practically in my backyard. Honestly, if not for the support, guidance, and general cheerleading by the wonderful people who make up the Central New York Romance Writers, I may never have heard of Soul Mate Publishing, let alone mustered the guts to actually SUBMIT something.
After moving to North Carolina, I reentered the vacuum again, so to speak. My local chapter wasn’t local to me anymore, and I sharply felt the lack of community that comes from being part of a writer’s group. When we first moved, I was way too consumed with juggling life in a new place, stay at home mommyhood, then the rapid return to work and becoming a working mom, to manage much more than my own writing time.
I desperately missed being around other writers, talking about writerly things. Then finally, FINALLY, thing settled down, and I have once again found a community. This past weekend, I officially joined the Carolina Romance Writers, and I’m so thrilled to have a local chapter to call my own once more.
You see, writing, by nature, tends to be a solitary pursuit. Authors spend the majority of their free time having conversations with imaginary people, after all.
And sometimes it feels like you’re doing this thing, this great big thing that is so much of yourself, and you’re doing it all alone.
Except we’re not.
No matter what you write, there are communities out there for you. Some are connected to national (or international organizations) like RWA. Some operate as critique groups. Others operate simply as meetups for local writers who want to get together and, well, be around other writers. Finding and joining these communities gives you a sense of belonging, that you aren’t just writing in a little bubble of your own.
There are others like you. And they’ll support you. You’ll support them.
The actual act of writing will never cease to be a solitary pursuit in some manner. But writer’s groups and communities give a definite sense of belonging.
Maybe it’s because we all are sitting there, having conversations with imaginary people.