There are a lot of authors out there who believe that paying dues into a writing organization is a bad idea. I heard over and over again authors saying "I'm not going to their conference" or, "I'm not competing in their competition" so, to them, this is a complete waste of money. So, instead the trudge on, working with their random "CP's" that meet every now and then to "workshop their stories."
And they get no where fast.
I get it. Dues can be expensive. Going to conferences is a huge investment in not just time, but money. Still, I honestly have to say, the benefits are going to outweigh those costs.
First of all, you are getting connections to editors and agents that you might not normally get. These organizations do bring them in to conferences, but even the small chapters of that larger organization connect you to those editors and agents. These editors and agents also contribute by writing articles, giving interviews and doing video blogs and such.
Secondly, these organizations set up for you opportunities to work with people who are already published and/or writing the same things you are writing.
This leads into networking. We are living in a world where we make advances based on who we know and how we work those connections. Without these connections, it is really just you against the world.
I honestly have to recommend taking the time to find those organizations. You will likely find some greater successes with your writing career,