Have you ever had one of those moments when you discover something that you didn’t even know you were missing?
Maybe it was when you took a class and it changed the entire direction of your academic goals.
It could be when you met a very special someone.
Or it could be walking into your first local chapter meeting of American Christian Fiction Writers.
Okay, that last one was just me.
It was great enough to participate in the Christian Writers Guild meetings, which encompasses all types of writers and publishing. But the local chapter of ACFW, dubbed MN N.I.C.E., was more specific, smaller and directed at learning skills to write more effective fiction.
I’ve been trying to allow myself to dream big and work to make connections in writing circles. I have much to learn, and I’m not too proud to admit that there are many times when I don’t even know the question to ask. I don’t mind learning from others, in fact I welcome it. It can be intimidating to walk into a room filled with a bunch of people you don’t know. When you come to a group that is united by a common cause or purpose, it really decreases the new-member fear factor.
In my experience, people at these meetings are welcoming and happy to visit, even if they don’t know you personally…yet. And the questions they ask to start a conversation will make you feel like someone is taking seriously your writing endeavors, which in itself can be enough reason to go to a meeting! Sure, you may be one of the youngest people there, and there seem to be little to tie you to the people in that room, but when you realize your goals and aims are rooted in writing, there is a commonality that bridges many gaps in background, life station, personality or interests.
Three other places I’ve been able to connect online:
- Twitter on Tuesday evenings by using the #writestuff hashtag
- Twitter on Friday nights by using the #writeclub hashtag
- Facebook as a part of the Writers Unite group.
I highly recommend engaging with other writers this way. In addition, almost every state has its own group of local writers, people who are out there doing it. It may not be convenient to you, but they are out there. And it is a matter of how much you want it. How much do you want to further your own writing skills and potentially give back to your local writing community? Even if you don’t drive to a meeting once a month, with a little internet access, you can connect with others and save on gas.
If you have ideas for other ways to ‘find your tribe’ as a writer, I’d love to hear from you. And as a reader of this blog, you are part of my writing tribe, my writing community, and I thank you for being a part of this journey. Seriously. Thank you.
(Here’s the link for American Christian Fiction Writers: http://www.acfw.com/ )