|The SFA-RWA board|
I recently took on a leadership position in my local chapter of Romance Writers of America (that's me in the middle, above). A year ago, I’d never even been to a meeting—and I'd never shown my work to another living soul. Now, I couldn’t imagine being on this journey without the support of my writer-friends.
I think I was waiting to figure out how much I wanted this, to see if it was “just a phase.” When I finished my second book, I finally realized this whole writing thing wasn’t going to go away, and I might as well accept it and get to know some other writers. In other words, I grew balls.
I should have done it ages and ages ago. Right away, I met a bunch of fabulous women, most of them much further along the road to publication than me. They gave me encouragement. I found some fabulous critique partners. And when I got offers of representation, they were there to help me make a decision. Most of all, though, it was nice to meet people who’d been exactly where I’d been, and made it. They knew just how draining it was to send out queries and go on submission. The Enabler is a great listener, but he can only empathize. It was a new experience for me to be around people who truly knew what it's like to be a writer.
If you’re an aspiring author, don't wait as long as I did to find some writer friends in your city. There's nothing like sitting down to have coffee with someone who really *gets* it.