More often than not Debra skips her local RWA chapter meetings.
I used to be a staunch regular. I never missed a meeting of my local RWA chapter unless I was out of town or had a school conflict. But over the past couple of years, my attendance has gone from regular to sporadic to not at all.
There are always those members in a chapter who are 'inactive'. They belong, but they never come to meetings. I always told myself I would never become one of those. But times change. I've changed.
It's not that I don't like the people in my chapter. They are all lovely, talented, hard-working authors. I honestly feel I would not be published if it weren't for my local RWA chapter. I just feel that I'm not in the same place as many of them anymore. Most of the regular attendees at our meetings are in the pre-published stage. It's not that our published authors are snobs, it's just they have different needs than those not published yet. Most of the hopefully soon-to-be-published writers in my group are 'on their way up' so to say. They're looking for that New York contract.
I've learned that I'm not. I am extremely content writing for a small press as a hobby. At this point, I don't even consider my writing as a second career. I've reshuffled my priorities. And I'm okay with that. And I need my sleep. Our meetings are on Monday nights twice a month and I've discovered that starting the week by getting to bed late is not the way to a happy, non-crabby me.
I still keep up with the goings on of our chapter through e-mails, newsletters, and on-line groups. I attended our bi-annual writers' conference. I've made good friends through my chapter, and we still stay in touch and blog together even if we don't see each other in person as often as we used to.
I have other connections to the writing world as well: this blog, another blog, my publisher's on-line group (Although these days I find I'm deleting far more messages than I'm reading.) So I don't feel totally disconnected. Just a bit more on the out-skirts...but it's by choice, so it's fine.
How do you connect with other writers? Do you belong to a writers' group? I know some of you have talked about critique groups and/or partners. Do you agree when people say writing is primarily a solitary venture? Or on you the side of 'writers don't write in a vacuum'? Do you think of your writing as a career or more of a hobby?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Until next time,