Monday, December 12, 2016

Are Professional Writing Groups Worth It?

When I talk to new writers, I am always trying to convince them that, although writing is a solitary activity, they simply will not be successful without a circle of colleagues to help them. It is for this reason, that I will often tell those new writers that they need to immediately get involved with a local chapter of a professional writing group.

Yes, I understand that sometimes the dues are outrageously high. Yes, I do understand that it looks like all you get is a monthly magazine or newsletter. But that is just on the surface. What these organizations get you is inside information. These groups get you the network you need to survive.

For too many new authors, they spend a lot of their time sorting through the tons of information out there on the internet to gain any glimmer of information on how to be successful. As we have seen in recent months, however, finding this information is often difficult considering there are so many people posting information on social media and other sites claiming it to be the truth. With the organizations, however, that information has already been scanned and the information you get will be certainly more accurate.

These organizations also get you entrance to those conferences. Again, yes, I know those conferences cost money, but the benefits are clearly worth it. You get to hear directly from those editors and agents. You get to talk to them. You get to gain insight from people who really have been successful. Doing this on your own, or simply being part of a unaffiliated local writing group, you only get what you pay for. Too often, this is an issue of the blind leading the blind. 

So, if you haven't done so already, make that an early Christmas present to yourself. Get into a professional group today. Get connected! Get networking! Get that writing career going!

1 comment:

  1. A good post with great advice. I'm a member of RWA and its local chapter, and the networking at conferences and meetings is awesome. In an industry that is changing as rapidly as publishing is these days, it is good to be part of an organization that keeps us abreast of the trends while helping us stay grounded at the same time.