Knock, Knock…

Just me, Katy Lee. But boy, do I have an exciting opportunity to share with you!

Next month, I am looking forward to learning how to develop a real-life character from a real-life counseling therapist. Last month, I learned how to go so deep into POV that I forgot who I was for a second. In the month of December, I am going to get a chance to laugh at my silly attempts at writing with my fellow CTRWA writers at our very own RITA awards…Marga-RITAs, that is.

And those are only the events on the autumn schedule of the Connecticut chapter of Romance Writers of America. The rest of the year has been just as informative. Talk about your opportunity knocking! I’m just sad that I didn’t answer it sooner.

Earlier this week, PJ Sharon shared her thoughts about writing not taking place in a vacuum. That writing is a collective journey with many to not just root for us, but also to help us succeed. I wrote my first manuscript in the vacuum. When I typed THE END, I didn’t have anyone to share my accomplishment with. I took my kids out to lunch and said they could buy anything they wanted off the menu. After all, I was going to be rich and famous, right?

Only I had no idea what to do with my story. So, I contacted one of my favorite authors, Catherine Anderson, and asked her. She wrote back saying, join RWA. That’s it. No eloquent pep talk to inspire me. No wise words of wisdom.

At least, that was what I thought. I know now, she couldn’t have possibly spoken wiser words.

I signed up to attend the national conference and set out to see what it was all about. I walked down halls filled with more writers I had ever seen in my life, and when one of them stopped me and asked me about my story, I thought she was just being nice. Except, when I finished fumbling through my storyline, she in turn asked me questions and began to help me figure out the areas I was struggling in. She really cared about my story. She wasn’t just being nice as I had thought.

After more encounters like that, and workshops with more information than my little brain could handle at one time, the conference was over. I was saddened to think I had to wait another year to be surrounded with such like-minded people.

Except, another opportunity was knocking. RWA didn’t want me to wait until next year. Local chapters and special genre chapters, like my fellow inspirational writers at Faith, Hope and Love – where the doors are always open for prayer and support, were formed to carry writers through all year long.

So, the question, again, was would I answer the knock?

The Unlocked Secret: You won’t regret answering this door. Find a local chapter of like-minded writers. Not one near you? There are many online to choose from. Every month, I am rewarded with more knowledge than I can process and true friends who will help me remember what I forget.

So, I invite you: If you’re a fiction writer in the CT area, then next month’s conference on real-life characters is for you. Don’t miss Laurie Schnebly Campbell’s The Psychology of Creating Characters. And by the way, that’s opportunity knocking.

Are you going to answer it?

Question: Do you belong to a writers’ group? Why are you glad you joined? You can start it just like this:  “I am glad I joined because…”


21 thoughts on “Knock, Knock…”

  1. I’m glad I joined for a hundred reasons, not the least of which is the fun I’ve had getting to know other writers like me who believe that it’s a writer’s job to keep the world reading. With RWA, we can learn to write books that are not only worth reading, but can change lives for the better. And not just our own. After all, if you’re in it for the fame and fortune, you’re likely to be disappointed. This becomes pretty clear when you’ve been spending 20-30 hours a week writing for years without a paycheck.

    But how many times have you read a book that speaks to your heart in a special way or carries you through a difficult time, or makes you laugh and cry at the same time? Call it entertainment or escapism, I think reading a good book is food for the soul, the heart and the mind. I wanted to learn to write the best book possible, and to do that, belonging to a writing group was essential. There is so much to learn and know, but I wanted to be the best writer I could be, and RWA is helping me achieve that goal.

  2. I’m glad I joined because my writing has improved dramatically. I’ve learned so much from the speakers that come to our writer’s group, the ladies online and the local authors I’ve met. I’ve avoided countless mistakes by learning from them. Even if a group doesn’t meet near you, the online community is worth the fee.

  3. I’m glad I joined because my world has gotten a whole lot bigger. I love the people I’ve met. I feel like I’ve gained a whole new family both in the CT RWA and the FF&P chapter. And my writing and professional acumen have grown tremendously. If I hadn’t become PRO, this blog wouldn’t exist (at least not on wordpress) and I wouldn’t have learned about Soul Mate Publishing (where I just sold my first book).

  4. I’m glad I joined b/c I needed to learn how to write a book. I discovered camaraderie of the most unusual sort. CTRWA gathered me to their bosom. I was directed to critique groups, workshops, mentoring. They encouraged me in my work continue to push me towards my goals. All this topped off with care and friendship and support. AND HUGS!

  5. The best writing tool I have at my disposal is the CTRWA, not only for their knowledge and education they share but for their many friendships.

  6. I’m glad I joined because now I know what’s necessary to take my writing and turn it into a career. Aside from the support, encouragement, and companionship I’ve found (the value of which can never, ever be measured!), RWA and CTRWA are teaching me how to take my work to the next level and how to actually sell it. The price of membership is incredibly low for the value received. Scribe on, everyone!

  7. I’m glad I joined because as the president of CTRWA said, it’s great to be around other people who “get” it … who understand what you are doing. She’s so right! Not only am I constantly learning, but I have also made a lot of new friends. I always look forward to the next meeting.

  8. I belong to a few writers groups. They include three local RWA chapters, one of which does critique sessions, a country group which includes writers from several different genre’s and mostly does promo, and ACFW and The Christian Writers Guild. Some groups are small, some are huge, but each group serves it’s own purpose.

  9. I am glad I joined a writers group because I found it to be a sisterhood… Years ago, before I knew anything about the world of publishing, a friend and I created Lincoln Word Weavers, a Christian writing group. We were like-minded and believers, fumbling along. What we learned was how to critique, proofread, and encourage. Years went by before I heard about RWA and became a charter member of a local group. That group became stagnant so I joined PRW, where 80 percent are published. It would take a book to record what I have learned, both professionally and personally. Faith, Hope, Love goes beyond that because of the eternal perspective on what we communicate.

    1. You bring up an interesting point about stagnant groups. Be sure to choose groups that have a focus/mission and are always actively pursuing it.

      Thanks, LoRee!

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